Dear best friend

Going back home is not always easy. You think it is, you look forward to meeting people, having your family take care of you, telling everyone about your new life and so on. It turns out, it not only about the fun parts; it can awake in you feelings of confusion and a sense of not belonging, which are difficult to express and heal, or at least I found myself struggling with more than once.

I am now writing from a plane, going from my old home to my new home, or can one have two homes? I am not sure.

I woke up this morning feeling anxious: I have been home in Albania for 5 days and I did not have enough time to meet everyone. I think I have realized that I cannot be present for everything that happens, and that hurts quite a bit.

I get a text from my best friend. Instantly, I feel much better and sleep a while longer.

Between moments of joy and periods of desperation, my friends have been there, skype in and skype out, waiting in airports, freeing their schedule to see me or planning their summer so that we can meet somewhere in between. True, I have invested my time and energy in these friendships that have lasted for years now, but I feel lucky (like, really really lucky) to have crossed paths with these people.

I am now at a party at my childhood bff house and am feeling jealous: who are these people and why are they here? I sort of grew up here, we jumped at her bed like crazy when we were 8 and later cried our hearts out in high school. And now there’s a bunch of strangers complimenting her about the fireplace?

Back to the present, I am still on a plane, flying to Berlin, for a reunion with some friends that I met in Uppsala last year. How great is that, ha? I stopped believing that “you only make good friends until you are 18” when I bonded with a friend in university, and we had our small little gang and had picnics at the university backyard.

Leaving is not easy, at least for me. But then again, isn’t it amazing to have people whom it’s hard saying goodbye to? Or people that you met just a year ago, but still are there when you appear at their door at 3 am, in desperate need for a place to stay? The same people that mock the hell out of your Albanian self but still are your Swedish family.

Call me sentimental, but I truly value the marvel of being close with people I randomly met in life and make for a huge part of who I am now.

So here’s to you dear friend: without you, I would be half the person I am. I am not saying I’d be nothing, because I would still be flesh and bones, but I would not have enough heart. And the only thing that matters really, is how much heart you have, how much heart you invest. My friend wrote this and tucked it into a book he gave me earlier this year. And I trust him, it really is all about heart.

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