In one week, I will be graduating from UC Davis with an International Relations major and French minor!
Graduating has got me reflecting on a lot of things–to the point where I read so much meaning into a quote or song lyric.
(I am currently loving Troye Sivan–I am not sure if that makes me basic, but I love him. He’s like a sad Taylor Swift.)
One verse has been on repeat in my head lately–
Yeah, there’s so much history in these streets
And mama’s good eats
And Wonder on repeat
There’s so much history in my head
The people I’ve left
The ones that I’ve kept
“The people I’ve left//the ones that I’ve kept”
That one really hit me.
In my three years at Davis, I have met people whom I’ve gotten very close with and drifted apart from. This really set in after I got back from studying abroad in Bordeaux–I experienced some pretty intense reverse culture shock. All I wanted to do was go back to France, be with my husband and feel at home–Davis felt foreign and uncomfortable. The me who had left for Bordeaux was different than the one who had returned. And I didn’t feel very connected to Davis or the people there.
This made me drift away from some friends, but it actually made me closer to others–including my amazing roommates, Kevin and Stephanie.
Kevin and I were sitting in our living room the other day and he pointed to a picture of the three of us.
“You are unrecognizable! That you is so different than the you now.”
“How were we even friends?” I laughed, “How did you like me!?”
I was instantly overtaken with nostalgia. I remembered freshman year, the three of us walking in a cold street downtown and getting piercings together (then I remembered a few weeks after, when Kevin and Stephanie took me to the emergency room after my piercing got infected.) I remembered us moving boxes in the Davis heat sophomore year. And I remembered Kevin and Stephanie picking me up from parties or letting me in our apartment when I forgot the key. (Yeah–I kind of sucked. But they said I was fun??? They’re good sports…) And I remembered coming home to them after Bordeaux–our apartment still lit up with a Christmas tree Kevin had assembled.
“We’ve all changed so much,” Kevin smiled, “But for the better. We’re always changing.”
Those words have got me thinking so much, especially these last few days as I’m getting ready to leave Davis. I thought of the freshman Daley who moved into Primero Grove–the one who was scared to raise her hand in big lecture halls, the one who drank to feel comfortable at parties, the girl who just wasn’t sure.
Then I thought of the other girl–the woman. The adult that I have grown into, and a person who I really like. A person who I am proud to be. And I want to surround myself with people who get that.
One of my friends, Nina, was visiting California from London for a couple of weeks. While we met through work at Davis, we never actually spent time together until this October, in Europe.
It was so funny to both of that we did not become close until we began living so far away from each other.
“Actually,” Nina pondered, “do you think we would have gotten along before?”
I had to think for a moment–I thought of my conversation with Kevin.
“I’m really not sure,” I said, “Maybe not. Or maybe you would have just brought the inner me out, earlier on.”
As I talked to Nina about change, I lamented some lost friendships and she left with me something–
Relationships–any kind of relationships–only work when someone acknowledges that the other will evolve, and that they can evolve and grow together.
I was pretty worried about coming back to Davis after France because I had changed a lot. Though I’m not sure if change is even the right word–I just grew. When I got back, I was at a different place mentality and life wise than a lot of my peers. And while this did cause me to drift away from some friends, I became so close with friends who really just got me and who I could really get. Friends who I just felt comfortable to do nothing with, talk about life with or drink a glass of wine with.
What I have learned with people that come and go is that change is inevitable–whether it’s change within yourself or friendships or just life–and while it may be different, it’s okay–and often, it’s for the best.