Last fall, Sarah told me and our friends that she and her husband Dave would be moving back to their home state of Utah in the spring. I heard her then, but didn’t really process it until around Christmas, and now I am freaking out because she leaves in a month.
Then, a couple weeks ago, Evan, a friend I met at Groupon but got to know through Kevin, let me know he will be moving back to HIS home state as well, which is Washington. He’d talked about this plan as a possibility, and I absolutely understood the appeal of it, but I remained in denial until he said it for sure.
This winter was a beast, and while I know Sarah’s plans were in motion well before the Polar Vortex(es), I still hold it accountable somehow. It broke a lot of us, and while it’s finally starting to warm up (this upcoming week being the exception, from what I hear in the weather report) this had better be the best summer EVER in order to make up for it. But it won’t be the same without Sarah or Evan.
Like I wrote recently in my Groupon reflection post, I met Sarah when I was assigned to be her cube mate. As the story goes, I insulted Utah on about day four, but we still managed to become the very best of friends despite this. Having friends at work is important, but three years later, Sarah is so much more to me than a former cube buddy. She, along with our third Musketeer Stef, has been around for a lot of life changes both good and bad. I will always treasure the bonding experience we shared while road tripping to Columbus last April so she could be part of a comic expo there. We stayed with my Columbus aunt and uncle, she met my dad, and we listened to possibly the entire discography of Rilo Kiley when we weren’t swapping stories and learning about each others’ lives.
It’s hard to describe our friendship, other than to say I consider myself extremely lucky to know her. The powers that be clearly knew what they/it were doing when I was plunked into a desk by her. I have to believe stuff like that happens for a reason, because she has directly and indirectly helped make my life so much richer.
Evan and Kevin moved to Chicago together five years ago, right after graduating from Whitman. They packed what they could fit into a moving truck and drove across the country, from eastern Washington to Chicago, over two-and-a-half days. Evan was a manager in my department at Groupon and actually was one of the people who hired me. It was a little awkward when Kevin and I first started dating, since my new boyfriend’s best friend was kind of my boss, but after a while I was lucky enough to get to know Evan well outside of work.
There were so many nights where it was just the three of us, drinking on the small back porch of my apartment, watching bad action movies, sitting around the table playing board games, or just watching video after video on YouTube well after 1 a.m. I heard their stories from college and after a while I felt like I’d been there with them and knew the cast of characters like old friends. It was actually really tough when Kevin and I broke up, because I knew I wasn’t going to get to see Evan nearly as much anymore. And now I’ll have to split the next two weeks or so with the rest of his Chicago life. At least I’ll have someone I know in Seattle now — I’ve never visited there before.
These two leaving Chicago seems to signal the end of an era, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel unsettling. I know it’s only natural for people to take on new chapters of their lives, but I feel like so many things are ending at once: My time with Kevin, with Groupon, and now with Sarah and Evan.
I hope it means other things and people are on their way, but even if that’s the case, they’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.