There are some people that have baby teeth well into their adulthood. While it’s not the case for me, I do know people who are my age who still have some left over. It’s a weird thing to think about… or at least it was weird, until I realized that, metaphorically, that is my life.
It seems that good things come in packages, and go in packages. Within about a month, six of my college friends will have moved away. Most of them stayed in central PA after graduation — close enough that we could still get together periodically and hang out as a group — but now it seems that we must all finally disband and go our separate ways.
One has moved to Massachusetts. Another has moved to Australia for a year. Two others are moving to New York, one to Maryland, and another to Canada.
I can’t get too bent out of shape about this mass exodus; after all, I left them right after college when I moved to Los Angeles for a year. Consequently, I missed out on the initial barrage of mini-reunions, but it was my fault. Now, there won’t be those mini-reunions — or at least not nearly as frequently — so it honestly does feel like the end of an era.
The fun part about living near your college friends is that you still get to feel like a 22-year old every time you hang out. Meeting up with old friends is essentially a direct transport back to your youth. And before anyone starts in on me with the whole “Youth?! That was four years ago!” spiel, I get it. I’m still a baby. But there’s something distinct in the separation between college life and post-college life — that feeling that you don’t quite have to worry about living month to month yet, or micro-budgeting your life. And when you surround yourself with people you associate with that feeling, you feel younger. Regardless of how young you are.
That’s not necessarily a positive thing. Not that I’m saying the people I hung out with in college are immature — that’s far from the truth — but there is something to be said for the amount of growth that you tend to miss out on when your surroundings never change. I may not be a kid anymore, but sometimes I don’t feel like a full-fledged adult, and possibly it is because I still have that safety net.
So, I suppose that’s it. Now’s my time to grow up. I’ve made some pretty great friends in the past four years, and the world will not end if my social circle shifts, as I’ve already come to learn. It’s already been shifting, anyway. Right now, it feels like all my teeth are falling out (no? That’s where the metaphor should end? Well.), but that just leaves room for new teeth to grow in.
So time to prepare for more adult teeth. Time to allow my experiences to be shaped by new friends and acquaintances. I hope this doesn’t get awkward for my dentist.