I’m really bad at goodbyes.
But it seems, it’s time to cross that bridge again.
Because, by this time in 2 weeks, I’ll have (permanently) relocated to LA for work.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been moving from place to place, never staying in the same city for more than five years at a time. I’ve gone through so many friends, groups of friends, schools, houses etc. I heartbreakingly can’t even remember them all.
Pretty much in all cases, I’ve just left without a word or a proper goodbye. Because I suck at them.
I’m a very sentimental person, really. I’m the type to keep a cinema ticket in a scrapbook for that film we saw together years ago as I saw it with you and you are important to me.
You see, despite having never lived in one place for long, I easily become attached to certain places or people and leaving them behind – or having them leave – is incredibly painful. Being an introvert, I also have absolutely no idea how I’d even go about expressing myself to everyone. The thought of having a leaving ‘do with everyone I know and giving a farewell speech or something of the kind – or even just being in the same room with so many people that I care about and need to speak to – scares the hell out of me.
So I take the coward’s way out. I guess it’s become a form of self-protection: rather than facing the reality of moving away and not seeing them in a long time, I choose to quietly disappear in the hope that one day if I return, it’ll be as if I had neve left and nothing will have changed.
Of course, it would never happen because people grow up and move away and move on, but my act of leaving without a “bye, thanks for being awesome in the short space of time we’ve had together” is hurtful and, well, rude.
But I honestly, honestly don’t know how to face you all or how I could possibly board that plane without bawling my eyes out if I did.
So, I’m sorry. This time I promise to say bye to as many people as I possibly can before buggering off. And hopefully I’ll leave on a positive note, even if it makes the act of leaving a lot more difficult.
Because I know I’d struggle to say it out loud, here’s some written sentimental gush…
To my beloved friends/Church family in Bamberg/Nuremberg, Germany 2011 – I love and miss you all. I remember back then, on the surface, I seemed so ready to just leave and never return. I acted as if it wasn’t a big deal; as if you all weren’t a big deal – but I do care. I care a lot. Years later I still often think of you, stalk you all on social media and reminisce the time that I’d spent there with fondness and a thankful heart. I hope to return one day and see as many of you as possible.
To my childhood friends from back in Southampton, from the various Chinese summer camps, from school/Uni back in Coventry/Warwick – how we’ve grown… and changed. I hope you’re all well? I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people and I’m very sorry about that. But I love seeing all your updates on Facebook, seeing how you’re doing, your successes and frustration rants and generally keeping up to date with your life, even if I don’t always make it obvious I’m reading them.
To my Coventry Chinese Church family, other Church/Christian Camp families and St. Helen’s Church family – I’ve learned so much from you all; lessons I’ll take with me forever. You have all been awesome, a pleasure to get to know, learn from and grow with. Thanks so much for bearing with me, building me up, forgiving my childish behaviour and loving me as a sister through everything.
To my colleagues, London friends and any new friends I’ve made along the way since arriving here – has it honestly been 3 years already? Time flies…! It feels like only yesterday I packed up my life from Uni and headed to the capital. And now I’m leaving. Not leaving my company, of course! But I won’t be able to see everyone all the time and I will miss you all dearly.
To anyone else I may have missed – I’m sorry for missing you out. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I probably consider you in one of the above groups and I’m running out of synonyms for ‘miss’, ‘love’, and ‘thank you’. Let’s just say all of the above is for you.
I’m not writing my family as words can’t really express my gratitude to them or how much I’d miss them. And they don’t read my blog anyway ha.
If I were to name everyone I want to say a personal goodbye to this post would go on forever so I’m going to end it here. I suck at expressing myself anyway so words can’t really describe how I’m feeling. The easiest way of putting it would be a bittersweet mixture of sadness and excitement. Otherwise my best stab at describing it would be melancholy mixed with nerve-wracking stress and anxiety, but this shadowed by overwhelming gratitude, relief and eager anticipation.
After all, LA isn’t really such a bad place to move to I guess.
Right well I’m off to have a good cry now.
Disclosure: all images in this post nabbed off Google images. I don’t own them.