“I have an instinctual distrust of conventional happy endings.” -George R. R. Martin

A few days ago one of my best friends moved away again.

I am no stranger to this. At my age, most people are trying to figure out where they would like to be. I wish him all the best; he has a much better life waiting for him. But it was still kind of sad.

The sense of loss struck me, not as we systematically emptied his parent’s garage of his belongings, but as I drove away from what I had considered “my friend’s house” ever since we met ten years ago. Things had changed; this was no longer where my friend lived. There is a good chance I will not step inside that house again.

The moment was poignant, not because this is the first time my friend has moved away (nor even the first time he has moved to this other city). No, I was struck by this sense of loss because my friend was moving away and I do not expect he will be back. Though I may visit him, it is likely we will never live in the same city again, never kill a weekday evening with beer and a comedy album again.

I am not afraid of change. I try to embrace the idea that my life will be different from year to year. This is because I know I have the tendency to spend all together too much time sitting in the same place, doing the same thing. So yes, things will be different, but that does not make me sad.

Watching that house fade from my rearview mirror, I realized something was ending. Not our friendship, but the life I had in the city where I grew up. I no longer have any reason to ignore the facts: it’s all over, and when I move away this next time it will be for good.

Everything has its time, and everything ends.

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