Some of my friends (all) call me unstable. Some say I am afraid of commitments. Some say I don’t like responsibilities of life. Maybe they all are right! Or maybe they are not!
I say, I like change!
While growing up I detested the word “routine” and the moment I felt my life was nothing but a schedule I would take impulsive decisions just to get out of the mundane. I have not changed a bit.
Till my 12th, I studied in 8 schools. Yeah, you gotta that right! I couldn’t stay in one school for more than 2 to 3 years I guess. I loved the change. I loved meeting new people and making new friends. I loved the new uniforms. I loved the new teachers. I loved everything about the jump. So, whenever I changed my school I left behind a ton of friends but I cared less. I never cried. I was too excited about the new people. Because of this nature of mine, when I finished my 12th I was hardly in contact with any of my friends. College awaited! New friends awaited! New life awaited!
The only stable and long term thing I did was 6 years of college in the same university. I was surprised with myself. Maybe it was so thrilling and challenging that I hardly craved for the change. Did I cry when I finished my college? Nope! My friends passed some harsh comments about me being heartless. Honestly, the truth is I never believed in goodbyes. I always felt that I would see them again and again, and life is too long for goodbyes. Did I meet my best friends after college? Of course I did! So, no goodbye tears were needed.
Talking about my craving for change, in the 6 years of my career I have worked in four different towns (one outside the country), five different jobs in different settings, and two years of sabbatical from work post marriage. Don’t say I am not stable, I like to experience new things and challenge myself. But every time I left a place, I left a lot of people behind. Thanks to my 30 years of wisdom, I have learnt to maintain my friendship with all these people now. But, I never cried during farewells or had a phase of sadness. I meet these people even now. So, no goodbyes were needed even then.
After I started working in AISJ, I have realized a real “goodbye” is possible. I would wave bye bye to someone and never see them again. Ever! Last year when my dear friend and colleague left the country, I was hopeful that I would meet her. I am still hopeful. But, there is a sense of loss in my heart which keeps throwing some moments of sadness. Now, when it’s my time to leave the country and the people I love the most, a lump has formed in my throat which doesn’t want to leave me! How am I going to say goodbye to these people? Am I never going to see them again? What about my kids? Just a hug and “miss you” is not enough. I spent the last two years of my life with them in a country which offers very limited social life. So yes, they are not only my colleagues but my friends who are like my family. And now, I realize I might never be able to see them again. That’s not fair at all!
Why the new adventure of going to Belgium is not pleasing me anymore? Why am I not looking forward to moving to a different country? Why my hormones are taking a nap rather than being excited?
Is this what being sad means? Is this what a real “goodbye” feels? Does this mean “goodbyes” are hard?
Oh hell yeah! They are hard. The mere thought of not playing connect 4 with a student of mine bothers me. The thought that nobody will peep through my window and wave at me bothers me. The thought that nobody will call me “Ms. Shushi” “Ms. Shooti” bothers me. The thought that I won’t be getting regular cards with funny writings bothers me. The thought that I will be out of their lives bothers me. The thought that they might forget me forever bothers me. I am leaving behind not just people, but the love of so many! And nobody can fill this void this time. No new person can replace the love of my students, colleagues, and friends. They mean much more than I thought they did!
I am not moving on this time. I am leaving a piece of myself behind!!!