Archived Story

Moving on is part of life

Published 1:00pm Friday, May 10, 2013

I dreaded my 25th birthday. And my 26th was accompanied by a sinking feeling in my stomach and the realization that I was closer to 30 than 20.

But each and every year, the world I wake up to the day after my birthday is the same world I knew the day before.

I don’t feel much different the more that I age. In my head, I am still that wide-eyed slightly hasty young man I was at 19.

But there are a few physical signs. I have a gray hair or two now. My recovery time – whether it is from a day of vigorous activity or a night of hearty imbibing – gets longer the further I get from Nov. 2, 1986.

For me, one of the worst parts of aging hasn’t been the occasional sore muscles and aching reminders of high-school sports injuries. I have made my peace with the gradual change of my appearance because if both my grandfathers and my dad’s hair serve as any indication of what is to come, I will be gray by my middle to late 30s.

For me, the worst part has been moving farther from the ones I love and watching as life takes the ones I care about farther away as well.

Over the course of a few months, four of my really good friends have either moved or broke the news that they will soon be leaving.

My old pal Wilson, who I grew up with in middle and high school and attended Auburn with, is now 1,392 miles away in a small town in Nebraska.

I watched this past weekend as two great people, Andrew and Andrea, exchanged teary-eyed vows and began their life as a married couple. Andrew just graduated medical school and will be moving with his new bride to Chattanooga in a few weeks.

And Evan, who like Wilson I have known since about the seventh grade, just accepted a teaching assistantship position at the University of Arkansas. In August, he will be leaving the Heart of Dixie to pursue his master’s in music performance.

While a part of me is sad to see them all go, it’s a selfish notion. I can’t keep them here forever and these moves are all the result of their hard work – the same hard work that has caused me to move far from most of my friends and family and from paper to paper as my career flourishes.

Over the past few months, Wilson, Evan and I have made it a point to go camping about every four weeks. And thanks to Andrew and Andrea getting married, life has afforded me more opportunities to see these two in the past month than I have in the past couple of years.

For this, I am thankful.

And I guess we all knew this time would come eventually.

But just because something is expected doesn’t make it any easier.

Nelson is news editor for The Outlook.