- Friday, 6 February 2015

Does Absence Make The Heart Grow Fonder?

For those who know me, it is no secret that I am in love with EYP (the European Youth Parliament) and, more specifically, the people I have met through it. The structure of EYP and the way it works means that you meet people and spend time intensively with them, working closely together for anywhere between two and ten or eleven days. Why, then, do these people so quickly and so easily work their way into being amongst your very closest friends, most of whom you have probably known for at least a good few years?

After a fair bit of thought, it seems to me that there are a number of contributory reasons for this, all of which may or may not be agreed upon by other EYPers. First off, I would hazard a guess that everyone who continues to go to sessions is equally in love with the whole thing as I am, which I think is a pretty safe assumption to make. This then means that right from the off, you have more than a common interest - you have a shared passion. By the very nature of being a member of the European Youth Parliament, it is fairly reasonable to guess that everyone has at least a vague interest in Europe and its various issues, and naturally there is the common language of English (and yes, it does make us feel guilty that everyone else is so fantastically multilingual and capable of discussing European politics in a language that is not their own - how???). Beyond this, the very fact that you are thrown together and the magic of teambuilding means that the likelihood of there being someone you actually don't get along with is so unbelievably low.

Maybe it's because there are slightly melancholy songs playing in my Nashville playlist right now, but I miss my EYP friends unfathomable amounts and I truly believe that in this case anyway, absence, or perhaps more accurately distance, has made the heart grow a thousand times fonder.

I went to an International Session in Barcelona in the summer as a delegate, and met the people who would become some of my best friends in the world, after knowing them for only a matter of days. At the end of our just over a week together, and perhaps contributed to by the severe lack of sleep (an average of 3 hours every night for ten days...), the first of the goodbyes set me off and I cried more hysterically than I have ever done before and ever thought possible from 4.30am to about 7am, then for the rest of the day I (and the vast majority of everyone else, I should add) cried in bursts approximately every 15 minutes.. It was a very emotionally charged day. The thing is, this doesn't really change a great deal with time. Even after reunions and when you know for sure that you absolutely will see each other again very soon, the sadness and almost desperation for their company is overwhelming.

The thing is, this isn't a bad thing. Yeah, it's not ideal, but it proves something. It shows that in some cases at least, being away from people for extended periods of time doesn't result in drifting, more in solidifying and making you appreciate it so much more when you do get some precious time together.

There will be a follow-up post to this at some point, I think. Once it's done I'll link it here.

In every case, absence might not necessarily make the heart grow fonder. In this case, though? It keeps the fondness and lets it grow, at the very least.


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