Just A Passenger

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with Kathryn, Erica and Victoria, eating, chatting, walking through Camden markets and watching the world go by on a narrow boat up the Regents Canal.

At one point during the afternoon I suffered a sudden but brief bout of almost overwhelming sadness. Part of it came from being tired and trying to fight off a cold, a bit of it has to do with hormones but a good portion of it was the realisation of … well, it certainly isn’t about growing apart, that would have happened by now if that were the case, I guess it’s more about growing up.

We’ve known each other since we were 13 or 14, gawky and awkward, not quite fitting in our skins and desperate to be liked and clever and witty and different enough to be cool all at once (maybe that was just me). 15 years later we’ve grown into smart, self assured women, clever, witty and different enough to be cool (definitely not just me). We’ve managed to maintain the sort of friendship that doesn’t require us to be in constant contact, we can go for years without seeing each other and then pick up where we left off the next time we’re in the same room.

But for the first time during lunch I felt a touch removed from it all, I sat as an observer rather than a participant. It was the first time we were all hanging out together since high school (seriously, it just takes us that long to organise group activities – we have actually hung out together individually over the last 15 years) and for no fault of theirs, as far as the group dynamic was concerned, for that brief moment I was just a passenger tagging on for the ride. Of course it would be this way, they have been living here for years, I am merely passing through. While they talk of future plans and holidays, of shared recent memories, I can only contribute with the odd reminice or with statements for the present. My future isn’t with them and it won’t be for quite some time and that saddens me. Of course our futures will no longer be together. We’ve grown up. Our lives, our hopes and dreams, our plans in the intervening 15 years or so have changed so much, of course our lives will take different paths, and for the moment, these three lives are partially intertwined possibly by an accident of geography … possibly more. But my life does not intertwine with theirs.

My future and my home lies back in New Zealand, I’ve known that for such a long time now. I knew that the day the Tawata crew arrived in Cambridge, I knew it that week. I knew it when I got off the train and saw Erina, Asa and Rashmi, I knew it when I hugged Miria, I know it everytime I see photos or talk to Whiti or Shreen or Rina or Aru or Mish, I know that my future lies with them right now because, by sheer accident of geography (or possibly more) our lives are partially intertwined.

I’m sure it will keep happening as I continue to grow, the lives which are intertwined will keep changing, the group dynamics will adjust and readjust as people come and go, perhaps my perception of what is home will, in time, change too.

So long as the love never fades between us, then I can live growing up.


One Response to “Just A Passenger”

  1. Totally know what you mean there. We just had a girls weekend in Waikanae – 8 East girls and one baby on the way. Some great yarns out on the deck after dinner, which reminded me of times back in the mid nineties hanging out under my house. Something I figure is part of growing up is being able to just appreciate those sort of moments as moments and enjoy them while they last. I’ve got no idea where my future lies or who with so I’m just trying to enjoy the good stuff when it comes along and not get too depressed at my lack of direction the rest of the time.

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