Have you accepted your transient friendships?

A reason, a season, a lifetime: equally significant and beautiful.

Transient life contains transient relationships.

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

I’ve seen people cut themselves off from building relationships out of fear of having to say goodbye once again as their friends, or they themselves relocate.

That’s the thing about mining towns, we are like travelling gypsies.

When I moved from Queensland to the Pilbara in WA, my first mining town, I held on to my friendships from back home. I took them with me in the form of an iphone and they were at the other end of emails, text messages, social media and phone calls. I held on close to my girl squad that had remained since highschool, I held on to the friendships I’d built as a young adult from different jobs, social circles and travelling.

I couldn’t touch them on the shoulder when we laughed, and I couldn’t hug them when we cried, I couldn’t pour their wine and share cheesy garlic bread with them, but they were there.

Four mining towns later and nearly ten years since living in driving distance, I still hold that same tribe in the palm of my hand (upgraded to the latest Iphone obviously).

I made new friends in each town. Slowly when good things would happen, or I had news to share, or needed someone to vent to about my shitty workday or shitty nappies, I started calling on different people, the new relationships I’d built in the new town I was living in.

Not long after moving to Roxby downs (town four), I had started building relationships with other women, but it was still early days, suddenly I was in between relationships with those back home and the new ones in my new home.

One day, I was about to start driving home from work when my soon to be publisher rang to confirm that she had just sent me my very first publishing contract. I finished our call and felt the rush of excitement create an inner squeal that ran straight to my fingertips and forced me to pick up my phone (I was parked, don’t stress).

I just stared at the phone. I really wanted to call someone, I wanted to scream the news in their ear and talk about myself and celebrate myself and have them squeal right back at me.

I continued to stare.

Who would I call?

It felt too early to call one of my newer friends. Would it be weird to call someone that doesn’t fully know the writing journey I’ve been on and start celebrating myself to them, I thought. I also wasn’t feeling like I could call my girls from back home, it had been a little while since we spoke, I’d been so busy with the move that I wasn’t sure I’d told them I had finally sent my manuscript out for publishing. Had it been too long to then call them up and start celebrating myself when they might be thinking, hey, you just missed all three of my kids birthdays and you still haven’t replied to my last message (oops).

I started the car and I drove home with the radio off, in the silence I ran through my mind who I could explode this excitement onto.

I called my mum (she’s a solid go to).

That was a weird interim of new town feels. I’m past that now. In the past year I’ve found the few that when something big or small happens, their name is at my fingertips and I don’t hesitate in sharing. They are my current, my present, my now. That’s not to say that they won’t remain, but I appreciate them for the gift of their friendship in a place that we all know holds such impermanence.

My friends back home are my forever. They are my solid, my old school and my retirement. Their friendship isn’t going anywhere, while I’m off gallivanting around with other friendships. They are my friendship home base.

In this transient life that is so common now that the mining industry is such a big way of life, there are so many aspects that are transient too: The friendships, the homes, the jobs, the schools, the love lives.

Starting in a new place doesn’t have to mean letting go of the last, but rather using it to keep you warm while you gather the kindling in your new home, to build a new fire of friendship to warm your hands on.

Four towns, a bunch of suburbs and a ridiculously high number of houses later and I can honestly say, I have taken with me a beautiful collection of friendships from each of the previous towns. Some of those friendships will remain within those towns, and I’m so grateful to have had them. Others, others will remain in the palm of my hand, at the end of emails, text messages, social media and phone calls. They are the lifers, similar to my girl squad from back home, and I know I’ll stay in touch with and sip wine with them again, in person, one day.

It doesn’t happen over night. You don’t rock up to a new town, strip off the layers from the old, and start wearing new best friends, claiming to be the aunty of new born babies, and having private jokes with people. (Give it at least a week, a month if you’re quite busy with other stuff.)

But just think, how lucky are we, the transient, to be able to build our tribe from all over the country, or even the world: A beautiful soul collection of all different colours, textures, and wonder.

What does your collection look like?

T x


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