I was abroad when my very best friend got married.
It was impossible for me to attend the wedding of the girl I’ve known for the past eleven years, my one and only partner in crime. I didn’t even have the chance to give the corny toast I planned during the six years I spent at the speech club.
I wasn’t there either to see my parent’s face when my sister told them she was expecting her second -and probably last- grandchild, or the Christmas my entire family got to write their names in a tablecloth to remember who was there -and who wasn’t-, and I pray I can be there when my grandmas decide they have seen it all.
My friends often tell me I’m lucky, and even though I also think I’m blessed, the wanderers have a price to pay: not being home when everyone else is.
This -somehow selfish- thought used to bring me down from time to time, until something amazing happened: My friends’ birthday celebrations.
I’m not talking about the friends back home, I’m talking about the great people I’ve met in Finland.
Their birthdays started coming and the more I thought about it, the happier I felt.
Most of them are international students, and have come a long way -just like me- to be here in this time of life. The probabilities of getting to know each other were basically zero, and still, for some reason, we all traveled miles and miles, just to concur at this stage of our lives.
If I think about time, I’ll probably only be with them in one, probably two occasions to celebrate their birthday. This little time frame to celebrate their existence has a big responsibility: to show them how much I value the brave decisions they took, everything they left behind and all the nights they slept on the floor, pursuing a dream.
Because I’m not where I was born, and life goes on for the people back home, family and friends… But mostly, because life goes on where my feet are currently planted, and the people I’ve met have become family: grateful. I’m so grateful.