leaving behind vs. being left: deep thoughts

25 Sep

throughout your whole life you will have people leave you.  think about friends/family that have left you in their various ways.  move.  death. argument.

throughout your whole life you will leave people.  you get married.  job transfer. want to explore.  many reasons.

so is it harder being the leaver or being left?  i think being left for sure… at first.  when you’re left, your standing there with a void that is hard to fill.  memories flood your brain and tears well up in your eyes.  you feel abandoned and that hardens you just a little bit.  maybe around the edges.  

the leaver is excited and looking forward to a new challenge and surroundings.  they are nervous, maybe, but they buck up and put on their badge of courage and lift their chin up.  don’t get me wrong.  the leaver is sad.  deeply sad.  but also pre-occupied.

that is when it becomes hard for the leaver – later.  after normalcy sets in and they realize that their family and friends are far away and their home town is…no longer their home town.  it is hard to answer the question “where are you from?”  this applies obviously if the leaver is just moving.

i have been the leaver many, many times in my life.  as far as i remember (being old enough to have significant memories that is.)  in third grade i left boston and my friends like karen hughes and billy pine.  billy had a pool and the school bus stop was on the corner by his house.  on hot days i remember lingering in front of billy’s driveway hoping he’d say “wanna go swimming?” which he always asked and i always sprinted home and got my suit on.   after my freshman year, i left grand blanc michigan and a tennis team i worked so hard to be on. i left my best friends heather day and wendy gifford and a ton of friends from my youth group at church.  i remember going to the OLOL dark dance hall and grooving to “erotic city” by prince.   after my sophomore year, i left milwaukee and my best friend amy bloomberg whose mom invented shrinky dinks and was the mayor of our town and amy continued to vacation with me and my family after we moved.  after college, i left home and moved downtown.  i had the time of my life with best friends kerri antles, sean, mark, dana larrabee, connie and all my work buddies from three different jobs.  when i was 34 i left chicago and moved to dallas and now at 42, i’m leaving again.

this time i leave with the full knowledge that friendships are life long and grow, even if we’re apart.  maybe even more so.  the visits become more real and fun catching up and digging in.  and never lose touch. we’re too old to lose friends.  right?

i haven’t been left very many times.  i’ve been left by death by my grandma and my dad.  both hurt a lot.  i’ve been left by my brother who has chosen to not want to have anything to do with me and hasn’t for two years now.  hurt.

what do you think?  harder to be left or be the leaver?  do you ever think about stuff like this?

4 Responses to “leaving behind vs. being left: deep thoughts”

  1. Elizabeth Boone McLean September 26, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    depends on how long you lived in a place – the longer you live there, the harder it is to both leave and be left because you’ve sunk some roots

  2. Caroline September 26, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Lots of thoughts and emotions after reading your words today but I have a practical question … where did you live in Milwaukee?! I grew up in Shorewood.

    • amyefulford September 26, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      Thanks Caroline. we lived in brookfield for a year. so beautiful!

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