Goodbye is an odd word. Whoever decided that the appropriate adjective to use was “good” obviously hasn’t had to say that many.
Before this my hardest goodbye had been when I left for university, although I didn’t go too far – there were a lot of similar feelings. Excitement and terror at the same time. We know that we won’t be living in Dubai forever, but in my gut I knew it was long enough for some proper goodbyes.
The last few weeks before we left were an amazing, and exhausting mixture of leaving breakfasts, brunches, lunches, drinks and dinners. Even through the tiredness, I recognised that it was a great position to be in, having so many great people in your life that its hard to squeeze in the time to see them all. Although Packing was a total pain in the ass, compared to saying goodbye to people we love, it was a breeze.
We both have amazing friends, and before I left, I got to spend the weekend with some of my best friends, one of whom I’ve known for 26 years, and one for 14 years. Since the age of 18 we’ve never lived closer than two hours travel, so I know our friendship can, and will survive long distance. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly with each other and these girls moved from friends to sisters long ago. They are my ride or die bitches, and I have far too much dirt on them if they ever try to end our friendship.
But what about everyone else?
Over the past few years my group of friends at home has grown steadily, and now includes some of our closest friends and in my most recent job I made some real, speak to you outside of work, friends. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried – I’ve had to decline future events, ones I’ve normally be at in a heartbeat, and I can feel the early signs of FOMO creeping in.
Saying goodbye to our families was a whole other ballgame, and with my Brother’s wedding the weekend before we had the opportunity to see a lot of my family all at once. We are both well aware that we won the parent lottery – both of our parents are still together, and have been amazing and supportive through all of this – I read a pretty meaningful quote recently that describes our families perfectly – Families give you the roots to call home, but the wings to fly.
Before you respectfully decline the invitation to this Pity Party, at least let me recognise that I know this is on me. I’m the one making the change, so the bulk of the effort will fall on me to keep in touch, and if I have to bribe people with brunches and beaches, so be it.
So here are the things I’ve learned about saying Goodbye:
- Try as hard as you can not to forget anyone, if you love lists like me, make one and try to speak to everyone on it – even if it’s just a text.
- Try and match a hard goodbye with good food and good wine – even if it gets hard, you’ve still got the food and booze.
- If you can, spend a weekend with your oldest, best friends. Laugh until you cry, hit pinatas, play dream phone and just remember how lucky you to have these people in your life.
- If you can’t get all the words out without crying then write a letter – that way you can really think about the things you want to say.
- Remember – you will forget things, things will be left unsaid – but the ones that matter will just know.