Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

The Dreaded Farewell

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I guess we can’t live together forever. I still have a hard time grasping the fact that it was fours years ago when my friend James and I first moved into our Pac Heights two-bedroom. We met through our friend Kelly at UCSB and hit it off right away. I knew we would get along when I realized he never seemed to be in a bad mood, and he was always willing to try something new.

Less than a year after I graduated, James and I took a short road trip from the Bay Area down to visit Kelly, who was still living in Santa Barbara at the time. We listened to an impressive playlist he had made and talked about everything from food to family to friends to what we thought about our undergrad experiences. It was a chatty ride down and back up when the weekend was over.

James was ready to leave his job in Palo Alto when he decided to travel through China and Japan for six months, visiting friends along the way. I remember keeping in touch, asking him about the trip, and knowing that he was very happy to be on this break. You could hear it in his voice and through the words in his emails. Everyone needs time away. Employees should be required to take sabbaticals from the workplace.

When James came back from his trip, we were individually looking for places to live in SF and then decided why not – we’d give each other a try. Four years later and the only argument (if that’s what we call it) we’ve ever been in was silent and over a dirty bathroom. It lasted for a day.

Although I’ve known for some time now that he would be leaving to pursue a new job (and life) in Abu Dhabi, it hadn’t hit me until this week. I found myself distracted while walking to class downtown, thinking about what my daily life will be like without him in the next room. He has seen me through two relationships, countless first dates, every mood/hangover/anxiety attack, my best and worst states, a career change…he’s introduced me to some of my favorite people in San Francisco, some of the best music being made, and some of the best flavors in this city’s evolving food scene. Who can take his place? Not just in terms of living space, but in my general everyday life. He’s become my best friend, a confidante, a partner in crime, someone I don’t have to explain anything to – he just knows exactly when it’s best to talk and when it’s time to listen. He knows me like no one else could because he has seen me every day, even when I didn’t feel like being seen.

I know that embracing change is important, and this change will be an incredible opportunity for him. But, I can’t help feeling a bit of sadness. Sad that I won’t get to walk down to Polk to have dinners with him on Monday nights, sad that we won’t drive around looking for a new brunch spot, sad that I won’t come home to him blasting indie rock in his room, sad that I won’t hear the loud whiz of the blender on Saturday mornings when he makes his chunky protein shakes. I know this all sounds silly, that I’m holding onto something that would have come to an end at some point anyway. But he really has become family to me.

I wish him the best experience he can have in this place that I know very little about. I hope he gains perspective. I hope he makes friends who will love him as much as we all do. I hope he’s able to achieve more there than he was here. I just wish him well and will always think of the four years we lived together as some of the best in my life.

To James and everything bright that lies ahead…

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Written by winniewongsf

June 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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