As the timeline up to my departure shrunk, I was increasingly double-booking myself with my friends. I decided that a calendar was needed to organize myself. As I drew the numbered boxes on the page, I realized how little space I actually needed to represent my remaining days. The physical act of drafting this calendar was enough to cause me to pause and gather my thoughts. Mainly:
“Oh yeah. I’m…going on a weird trip soon.”
The very next shift of work, I was in the middle of cleaning something when I was approached by a co-worker who would not be at the restaurant for my last week. He abruptly mentioned this information and while I doubt I would have cried if we had parted with more of a ceremony, the emotions on display were certainly not indicative of my feelings towards this person.
I have spoken to many people who are quick to organize their peers into groups. A hierarchy naturally forms as a result. And while pitting those in my life against each other in various battles to the death inside my mind is perfectly acceptable (and damn fun), I think that we could all benefit from not compartmentalizing these relationships in real life as much. It represents a glaring missed opportunity. The acquaintances and allies of my life have proven to be equally capable of helping me with an issue as the people who fought for and won the ‘Best Friend’ title belt. It is with this in mind that I feel we should try not being so careful about who we open up to, and let in to our inner circles.
Still, this co-worker and I had not met outside of the restaurant once, so it would perhaps have been inappropriate to tell him in that moment that even casual friendships such as ours are critical to my well being. And that his parting from my life marks the first of many lost droplets of sanity I will lose in the coming week. Instead, our version of “Welp, goodbye forever I suppose.” was summed up in one inelegant handshake.