Today, my best friend is getting married. And I’m not there.
This is the girl who I met on the first day of university and have been living life alongside ever since.
We have been through all your standard university trials – studies, boys, diets, housemates…
This is one of the very first photos we took together. We really had those myspace angles down.
And beyond, into real grown up life stuff; house purchase and renovations, proper jobs and career choices, sickness, bereavement, hurts, joys, choices, regrets. You name it. I’d do anything for this girl. She stood right by me as I got married almost 7 years ago now.
And yet, I won’t be there for hers.
The decision not to take the trip back to attend was a really, really tough one. Ultimately it was just unaffordable for me – tickets to the UK from Australia aren’t cheap, and I’d have had to take a decent chunk of unpaid leave as I’m so new in my job. I also didn’t think I’d be allowed to take so much time off so soon after starting my new job; thanks for sponsoring me to come out here Employer, now I’m just going to nick off back home for 2-3 weeks, that’s fine yeah?
Still, after all those very rational reasons, it is my best friend’s wedding. There’s just no getting away from that.
At my 21st birthday party. The theme was R (I’ll give you 3 guesses why). I was Royalty, Jen was a Rudegirl – this is her actual personality which made it all the funnier
It’s three months since I moved away from the UK and this is the first major event I am missing out on. I know there will be more in the future. I know other friends will get married, I know friends will have babies. I am hoping that there will be no deaths, but experience tells me that is a futile wish.
As well as the big things, there will be the slightly smaller things. Birthday celebrations, life milestones like new jobs or new houses, family events, the church fete… It’s easy to get misty eyed about all the things I’m missing out on whilst forgetting the privileged position I am in. I am very aware that I have absolutely no right to whinge about missing out on things because I chose this life for myself. I am the one who chose to move away. Right?
We do have an emergency fund set aside with enough money in it for two last minute air fares, should the worst happen. But over the past few days and weeks I have been plagued with the guilt that perhaps I should have used that money to fly to the wedding. Despite my seemingly rational decision, I couldn’t help myself.
Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t rationalise your way out of emotions. I know it wasn’t possible for me to go, but I am still devastated to be missing out.
Fellow expats, what do you do to mark occasions back home that you’re missing out on? How do you decide what to go back for?
Happy wedding day beautiful girl; a lifetime of happiness to you both x x x x