Today was moving day, again. At least one of us wasn't stoked about it.
After our four-month stay at the wonderful Eco Lodge ended, Lucy and I and my housemates, Arthur and Megan, took an AirBNB in downtown Vancouver for the month of November.
It was a beautiful two-bedroom condo with spectacular views, steps to good restaurants, theatres, the hockey arena and plenty of pubs and breweries.
In short, it was the complete opposite of our rural life in Pemberton.
I won't lie; it was nice having the amenities nearby. Buying groceries didn't mean a twenty-minute drive into the city, and we certainly weren't hurting for entertainment options.
Lucy and I did our daily walks on Vancouver's famous seawall, where the views almost--ALMOST--trump those in our little corner of paradise in the Birkenhead Valley this summer.
For all the convenience, and the luxury (our condo had a hot tub and a pool, among other things), our stay here felt a lot more like a waypoint than it did a destination in and of itself.
We each spent a lot of time preparing for what comes next; Arthur and Megan are immigrating to the States, and so understandably have been spending a lot of time mired in paperwork and stress.
For me, I'm still trying to chart a path forward, and I'll be honest, it's tearing me to freaking shreds.
To make matters worse, we were all battling pretty gnarly colds the whole time.
So while I really enjoyed the condo life, I think we all found it tough to make the most of it.
And now it's over. We moved out of our condo today and went our separate ways.
It ended, as these things tend to, kind of anticlimactically; we packed and cleaned and stressed and then it was time to go and that was that. Arthur and Megan are headed to Arthur's familial homestead in Hawaii. I headed across False Creek to my temporary digs on my friend Alexis's couch.
So we said our kind-of perfunctory goodbyes and it was only hours later that I really felt the poignancy of the moment.
It's rare to get to spend so much time as we did with people that you like, and I think it's rarer still to spend such time and realize you still like each other, that even four months in near total isolation, can't damage your friendship--and on the contrary, really strengthens it.
I remember where we were, me and Arthur and Megs a little more than a year ago, when we hatched our plan to spend the summer together.
(It was a bar, just before Arthur and Megs went to the Big Island for the winter, and I headed east on #ProjectNomad.)
It seemed like a pipe dream, something far off and fanciful and logistically impossible.
We knew we'd be returning, however temporarily, to British Columbia in the summer, and that we'd all need housing. But I figured the idiosyncrasies of our situation (three people, one dog, six months max) would ultimately ruin our dream.
But I was wrong. Megan found us a wonderful place, and through tenacity and sheer force of will convinced the owners to give us the keys.
And thus we found ourselves at the Eco Lodge.
And I'll admit; I had my worries. I worried that we wouldn't gel as housemates, that we would discover irreconcilable personality differences and that our summer would be one of fights, petty grudges and brooding resentment.
But that wasn't the case.
Instead, it was a summer of laughter. Silliness. Of Megs' cartoonishly maniacal Lucy voice and of #PartyArthur in his ridiculous sweaty sloth onesie.
It was a summer where if any of us was feeling goofy we'd blast Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" throughout the entire house, sparking an impromptu karaoke session.
It was also a time of tears, frustration, and major challenges. Personally and professionally, I've struggled lately, and I know Megan and Arthur each had their own big hurdles they're working to overcome.
None of us is walking away feeling entirely certain of our futures.
But it's funny; no matter how stressed or lost or miserable I felt when I was outside the Eco Lodge, or the condo, being around these two people instantly made me feel better.
Without getting too sappy, I knew I could lean on my housemates, and I did, often, and I think they did, too, even if we rarely really talked about it.
I felt safe to be myself around Arthur and Megs, the good parts and the not-so-good. It was a real comfort to know we were in each others' corner, no pretence, no need to pretend to be people we weren't.
And I know we'll remain in each others' corner, even though they're going their way and I'm going mine. I don't think it's possible to live so long and so close to two people and not carry something of them with you when you finally walk away.
So that cheers me up if I start to get maudlin. That and the knowledge that I have a place to stay in Hawaii.
I think a part of getting older is recognizing that experience is ephemeral and that connections can be fleeting. And then working to enjoy those experiences in the moment as much as you possibly can, so you'll have something to cherish when they're over.
I won't lie, I think it was really hard for any of us to live much in the moment these last three weeks.
But I'll still walk away with so, so much to cherish.
And I'm already looking forward to the next time I see my housemates again, wherever in the world our paths cross next.