Goodbyes And See You Laters – They’re The Same Enchilada

A few days ago I discovered that a friend was leaving. She was going to try her luck in another country and, although I am happy that she is going to embark on this new adventure, I am saddened just as much. I have to admit, there’s that certain kind of sadness attached to being left behind. There is also that fear of losing someone in the midst of a new life that is about to occupy every space that solely belonged to her.

Another friend shot back by saying that it shouldn’t be sad at all, especially for people like me who was always packing. In fact, amongst everyone, I should be the person who will fully understand the need to leave after years of being stuck. This, of course, made sense but it didn’t change the sinking feeling that was nagging me ever since I first heard of the news.

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I remembered this feeling. I went through it before. I went through it countless times in the past. I felt it every time my mother used to say goodbye before she goes to work where she promised she’ll be back in the evening but then she ended up coming home a week after. (The worst was when she came back a year after.) I felt it when my father dropped me, my brother, and my sister at our grandparents’ house where we never saw him and my mother for more than a year. I felt it when a close friend moved to another high school and I could barely recognize her months after. I felt it when a friend was gunned down in a dark alley while he was on his way home. I felt it when my pet, Charity, died while I was continents away. I felt it when the man I loved walked away from what we tried to build together so that he could be with someone else. I felt it at airports when I send off loved ones. I felt it when my backpacking buddies left after invading my personal space for months. I felt it when my best friend migrated to another country and changed the rules.

I felt it during small moments too but I’m more forgiving towards these moments. Like when a friend bids farewell with a promise to come back, or when someone takes home one of your favorite books with an assurance that the book will not be neglected. The impact, good or bad, are much easier to digest; thus easier to accept. It doesn’t cause that much damage. The big ones are the frightening sorts. Sometimes, they turn you into someone you are not who will be capable of anything; then you’ll wake up one day with twelve years behind you without an inch of idea as to where you have allowed yourself to go.

saying goodbye

There is something to being at the receiving end of that goodbye. The one who is leaving has her life ahead of her. There will be new plans, new places, new people, new love while the ones left behind pick up the pieces and go back to how it has always been; only this time, there’s an empty chair that they have to get used to.

There is no such thing as ‘there’s nothing to it’ because there is always something and because you love this person, you let her have a piece of that new life even if it meant that there’s a possibility that you’re not going to be part of it. You let her take a bite of what the world can offer because you know so well how amazing the whole experience is. As much as you want her to stay, you want her to find herself too and make a mark somewhere, anywhere so she won’t disappear as a nobody.

DSC_7024So yes, I have problems with goodbyes (or ‘see you laters’ as how others would like to put it lightly) but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to make my friend miserable. I’m still pushing to go through the whole ordeal of farewell dinners, airport goodbyes, ‘do-not-change’ gifts, amongst others and I will try not to cry when I will hug her. I’ll urge her on and remind her to keep me updated with the hope that she will not become a stranger the next time we’ll meet.

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Comments

  1. you always makes me reflect on the beauty of your words… like turning tears into sugar when it dries.

    • thank you mauve….i wasn’t aware that it had that kind of effect on people…i usually just write whatever thought that’s scurrying here and there in my head…lol…thank you for taking the time to visit

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