The past five weeks have been intense, eventful, powerful – everything I hoped they would be.
Over the past five weeks or so, I’ve been to the airport four times in three days; I slept five consecutive nights in five different cities; I took a transatlantic flight.
Over the past five weeks or so I spent an incredible amount of time with some incredible people.
The adventure began with a team offsite in Orlando, where I met my colleagues for the first time after three and a half years. I hugged them. We laughed, we talked, we drank. In the end, I cried.
After Orlando, I went to Mexico with my friends from Canada. They are family really; not by blood, but by that warm, welcoming feeling I get around them. With them around, the world is a bit less scary of a place. I hugged them. We laughed, we talked, we went on a hot air balloon ride over pyramids, and we drank. In the end, I cried.
After Mexico, I went back to Amsterdam, where I finished my job with Elastic. As I was walking to the office to return the laptop, I cried.
Once I returned the laptop, I got on a plane to London. One of my closest friends was throwing a birthday party and it was a decent excuse to spend a weekend in London. I hugged her. We laughed, we talked, we drank. In the end, I cried.
After London, I went to Croatia, to spend the Easter with my family. My niece hugged me the way she never has before. She hugged me and wouldn’t let go. I told her I loved her very much and would miss her deeply and then – you might have guessed it, I cried.
As the time for my departure was approaching, my dad hugged me and cried. Me leaving is getting harder for him each time. Each time, we are closer to having run out of time. Each time, the chance that this is the last time that we are seeing each other is inevitably higher. Nobody beats time, so I cried too.
Over the past few weeks, I said so many goodbyes and I cried so much
At one point I had to ask myself – would it have been easier if I simply hadn’t gone to any of those places to begin with?
But then it occurred to me. The concept of having cared for something or someone so much that the thought of losing it / them hurts so badly, to the point where the pain becomes physical, means that I am doing this right.
I cared for my job, and I was sad to see it go. My colleagues have been so understanding and kind, and I was inevitably sad at the thought I may not see them again.
I have friends in different countries, our friendships fighting the distance. It hurts not being able to spend more time with them. Just to be next to each other and exist in the same physical realm.
As for my niece, the little lady was born exactly two months after I had decided to pack my suitcases and get on a plane with a one-way ticket. I’ve spent her entire life living abroad, which means she was growing up without my consistent presence in her life. Yet the bond between us is so strong that it makes me realise that true that love knows no boundaries. She feels my love and she returns it.
And that’s the whole point
Those moment of feeling useful, of feeling connected; moments of hugs, laughters, chats, inexplicable connection to someone, is the whole point of life. It’s what makes life worthwhile. And I’m ready to experience them again.
Unavoidably, I’m ready to say goodbye again.