Today Google+ shuts its doors to the world.

When Google+ started it was a flurry of activity, and photographers flocked to it in droves. In the era before Instagram’s popularity, Google+ became an inviting place to share photos, blog posts, videos, and stories about our work. I made connections and friends through video chats called Hangouts, many people whom I’m still friends with to this day. At the time Google+ was hands down the best social platform out there for photographers, or anyone for that matter. There was something calming about grabbing a glass of wine, starting a hangout, and seeing friends pop in. We would sit, edit photos, chat, laugh, and plan other outings. It was people on social media actually being social. I miss those days.

But—as with some relationships—endings like this are not instantaneous. They start as a tall flame that slowly burns low, and without constant work and commitment, they fizzle away. And—also with some relationships—it’s not always easy to pin-point exactly what went wrong. Everyone has their own reasons for moving away from the platform, and I’m sure the analysts at Google can crunch the numbers and give technical reasons, but whatever it was, it died. We all knew this was coming, it’s just sad to see it finally end.

I find the timing of this closure ironic on a deeply personal level. Google+ is where I met and married (and a friend met through Google+ even officiated the ceremony). Yet only four days ago I said a different kind of goodbye, and tomorrow I will watch as a moving truck departs, officially carrying that part of my life to another home.

Life will be different, but still the same in many ways. It’s similar to that feeling when you finish the last page of a whirlwind book that kept you on the edge of your seat for so long: you’re sad to see it end, yet excited to search for the next book and begin a new adventure. I’m fortunate in that I can easily bounce back, adapt, and I even tend to thrive on my own. I embrace change, even—and almost more so—when I have no choice.

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