People Always Leave

by Jason

Wow, so now it is June and I have lived in Lebanon for just over 9 months. I think, this is officially the longest I have lived anywhere besides Michigan. It is strange in a way, to be here 9 months after such a huge life transition and to think back on the months behind me. In many ways, I feel that I am the same person and in others I know that I have changed drastically, even though those changes may appear subtle on the surface.

I found happiness in Lebanon, in a way that I never found it before. I made friends here, great friends, quicker than I ever had before. The past 9 months have been truly beautiful, definitely some of the greatest of my life.

But now, now it has been time to say farewell and to say welcome to change once again. I’m not leaving, on the contrary, I have no plans of departing this country in the near future. Its the many other people who have left over the past weeks, some suddenly and some expected. Regardless of the departure, small holes were left in the essence of what my life has been here.

But what I have realized over this year, what has become ingrained into my overly analytical psyche, is that I am adaptable.

I came here 9 months ago without a single friend and now, I am lamenting over all the friends that I am saying goodbye to. Though I am sad to see each one go, and though I wish I could selfishly keep each one with me at all times, I have learned to cherish the moments that we had together.

In September or early October, I was out with friends in Hamra and we were talking about how short are time would be together, about how we knew that we would be separated within 8 months. I said then what I have fully understood now, we will always have those moments, if nothing else we will have that night and no one and nothing can take that from us.

To me, life is very much centered around relationships, around building new ones and preserving old ones, sometimes more in memory than in communication. But the fact is, if I have a best friend today and they leave tomorrow, even after 20 years pass, they will still be part of me, living with me, existing in my memory.

I love each person that I have grown close to during my time in Lebanon. Some of them are separated from me by many miles and oceans, but to me, they will always remain in Lebanon, they will define it and make it mine. As much as the culture, the food and the scenery make this country great in my mind, so do the people that I have known here.

Things are in transition for me. But I’m confident that the future will be reminiscent of the past, and I look forward to honoring the memory of my friends who have left by living in the present with the new people I will meet along the way.

Traveling mercies.