I’m not good with goodbyes.
I hate that feeling I get when someone says the words “I’m leaving…”
I’m sure I pull the same face every time – forced smile, trying to blink back tears.
I feel numb, and can’t help but dwell on the farewell until long after it’s happened.
In year 6, my dad told me that we were leaving, moving interstate. That was the first and the hardest farewell.
In year 10, my best friend moved schools. I tried to not make it a big deal, but when someone who has been such a vital part of your life for so long is suddenly no longer there, it’s hard.
Last year at work one of my favourite managers announced he was moving on to another job at another company. After working closely with him and getting to know him, it was strange to come to work the following week and not have him there.
I recently spent a semester of uni in New York where I lived on campus in a college dorm. After spending 6 months surrounded by people and seeing them almost every waking moment of every day, you inevitably develop friendships that are deeper and stronger than you ever thought was possible.
Walking out of that college dorm on the last day of the semester and saying goodbye to these people who had supported me, encouraged me, taught me about American life and culture, and seen me at my best and worst, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
It’s not that I don’t like change. Change is something that should be embraced every day. It’s just I don’t like facing change without the people I have grown to love around me.
Every person you meet changes your life in some way or other. Each relationship you develop has a purpose, whether that is to teach you something, show you something, tell you something, or simply be there for you in a particular season of your life.
But seasons change. Unfortunately sometimes, once this purpose has been met, circumstances force you to go your separate ways and move on with your life without that friend by your side. This can be hard, excruciating, painful in every way, but it’s something that is required to grow.
As clichéd as it sounds, when one door closes another opens, and similarly, every goodbye brings a new hello. This hello is an opportunity to encounter someone else who will bring something fresh into your life.
I’m not denying it’ll be hard, because I know it is. But rather than dwelling on the fact that it’s over, sometimes it’s good to remember and reminisce and smile about why you’re so glad that it happened.
Winnie the Pooh optimistically says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!”
words by Gabbi Johnston