A friend and I were talking about how lucky we were to have found such a good group of friends in Chicago. Even though it’s been two years since I graduated and started living in Chicago, I hadn’t really found a core group of people who I could call my own. Being the well-known (and generally well-liked) drifter is a recurring theme in my life. Despite feeling like I’m well-regarded, the life of a drifter still means coming back to no one. It is a path through the high school cafeteria, smiling and waving, but never having a usual spot at the table. It is the excitement of doing something new all the time without the comfort of returning to the same landmarks.
I was lonely. I was pursuing my passions, but I felt like I was emptying out.
That changed recently. These last few months have been a treasure. I’ve gotten closer to old friends, made new ones, and circled back with them time and time again. Making new traditions, exploring Chicago, and memories that we will carry with us throughout our lives.
But at the same time, I feel melancholy. The Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi is basically an acknowledgment that things will change. And so this moment, though it burns as brightly as any in my memory, will fade and flicker out, giving way to something new…but not the same.
It’s bittersweet, but that makes me cherish it that much more.