I've moved around a fair amount. Having been to five schools in three countries, I've learnt that it can be pretty hard to maintain friendships when you can only see each other every few months or even years. While some have remained effortlessly chummy despite the distance and time zones, others have inevitably faded. 💔
About a month ago I left Malaysia, the place I'd called home for 4 years while I went to boarding school. Although it seems daunting, going to boarding school has definitely been an experience I'm so grateful for - the close-knit community means you tend to make extra strong friendships that are often rather unexpected. Throughout my time I've been friends with seniors up to 5 years older than me down to 4 years my junior. Boarding my familiar flight to Jakarta for the last time (for a while, at least) has left me in a serious state of FOMO that I'm convinced triggered an unusual outbreak of pimples (I have, in the past, shamefully bragged about my clear skin). While most of my friends would be either staying in Malaysia or going off to the UK, my next destination was home, back to Australia.
Thankfully the distance is made a little more bearable with the prevalence of instant messaging and social media; sharing life updates, new interests and advice has never been easier. But with this ease also comes the pain of seeing all of your friends hang out, make new friends, and finally get to do all the things you'd been wanting to do - without you. This is where the FOMO turns into flat out anguish (am I exaggerating? Doesn't feel like it.)
So it can be tough. On one hand, I love hearing about all the stuff that's going on and getting to talk to my friends everyday; on the other, it sometimes just makes me feel like poop that I'm missing out on everything. But I guess what that tells me is these friends are (hopefully) here to stay; or am I just really clingy? I'd like to think the former, but they're both pretty true. And of course there is always room for new friends and experiences on both ends - missing the past doesn't mean being stuck there. I'm both anxious and excited about getting to make new friends over the next few months and years, and I can rest easy knowing I've got people to talk to at any time of the day all over the world.