You're So Far Away 1

“Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?” – CAROLE King

Editor’s note: Fall often simultaneously heralds a bevy of beginnings and a gaggle of goodbyes. We asked our summer intern, Marissa, to share her thoughts with us as she bids a temporary farewell to friends and family in the Barrington area and heads back to college. What she submitted was more than we anticipated: in addition to the normal heading-back-to-school transitions, Marissa’s older sister was embarking on a new adventure to live in Australia. Beyond sharing typical see-you-next-summer sentiments, Marissa shares a very personal perspective of what it’s like to bid farewell to a beloved big sister and role model who suddenly lives literally a world away. 

Editor’s note: Fall often simultaneously heralds a bevy of beginnings and a gaggle of goodbyes. We asked our summer intern, Marissa, to share her thoughts with us as she bids a temporary farewell to friends and family in the Barrington area and heads back to college. What she submitted was more than we anticipated: in addition to the normal heading-back-to-school transitions, Marissa’s older sister was embarking on a new adventure to live in Australia. Beyond sharing typical see-you-next-summer sentiments, Marissa shares a very personal perspective of what it’s like to bid farewell to a beloved big sister and role model who suddenly lives literally a world away.Â

By the time this article is published, you will already be in Australia. I know I said goodbye to you at the airport, but I still felt like it wasn’t enough. So that’s why I’m writing this letter.

There has always been a bit of an age gap between us. It’s a shame that you’re leaving just as the gap is starting to close. But despite this age gap, you have always been my biggest role model. When we were younger, I remember always wanting to do things just because you were doing them. I took art classes at Kaleidoscopes because you were such a talented artist. I even took a cheerleading mini course because you were a cheerleader. Sure, neither of those things went very far for me, but you still always pushed me to do my best. Being the oldest, you set the standards high for our brother Mark and I, and you continue to do so. For that, I will forever be grateful to you.

You, Nicole, are one of the most opinionated people I’ve ever met. While your stubbornness can be aggravating at times, and have led to countless arguments between us, it is also what I admire most about you. You know what you believe, and will stick to your ideals no matter what. Whether it’s picking a restaurant, or choosing a college, your recommendations have always been spot on. You are strong-minded, with an eye for detail. Please don’t ever lose this quality, Nicole, because it is what makes you so remarkable.

It has always amazed me how easy it is for you to have an idea and turn it into reality. A year ago Australia was just a casual joke you made every now and then. Now you’re starting a whole new life there! You have always been brave, with a sense of adventure. Not only do you challenge yourself, but you challenge me too. You, Nicole, make me brave.

So I will miss binge-watching Friday Night Lights and Friends with you. I will miss taking endless selfies with you. I will even miss fighting over clothes with you. But despite all that, I’m excited to see what you do in Australia, because I know whatever you do will be amazing. Who knows, maybe you’ll find an Australian husband and end up staying there for good (If that’s the case, I hope he has a brother). But even from the opposite side of the planet, you will always be my big sister.

Love you,

Marissa