One of the things people are used to do before leaving is to say goodbye. Have you ever asked yourself why we do so? Forget about the social pressure, that this is the “right” thing to do, something gentle and polite. Have you ever asked yourself why do YOU say goodbye?
I’m at the very important time of my life, just before leaving my country to start a new chapter of my life. There are two main feelings mixed inside me; excitement, which is related to the fact of living the change, experiecing the new: new culture, new people, new environment. The second feeling is a kind of nostalgia, not exactly sadness neither longing.
This is the feeling when you know that you are just about to start something amazing, what you’ve been waiting, yet at the same time you leave what was truly important to you. It happens not only when we move from one country to the other, yet also when we finish some chapter in our lives, when the life paths of others and ours diverge after certain time being together.
There are these certain moments when something needs to come to the end so that the new might happen. Sometimes we can be scared of what the new would be, and whether it is the right thing to do to close some of our expereiences. Then we try to prolong them, prolong the relationships that are over, prolong staying in our comfort zone, doing what we are used to do.
Yet deeply inside there is the voice telling us to move forward. Listen to this voice. Closing one doors enable you to open new ones, even though it might look risky sometimes.
Here is where goodbye becomes so important. For me saying goodbye is the ritual that helps me to proceed in my life, appreciating the past experiences and taking the lesson out of it. There are three steps for me to say goodbye and let the new come:
1) Stop – take your time to reflect and think what is it that you are saying goodbye to. Whether it is the place you lived in, your job, the student life, or the relation with other person.
2) Close – finish what you have started. Don’t leave the things in the middle of action, whatever it is. It will be easier for you to say goodbye to if you know you did everything you could – whether it is about cleaning the flat before leaving, saying thank you to the people you worked with, or meeting with the person to talk.
3) Say goodbye – do what you feel would be the best thing for you to say goodbye – it can be drinking the last coffee in your favourite place, taking a picture (in your mind or by camera), inviting people for a dinner, writing a letter. During the process of saying goodbye focus on what you are grateful for, on the beautiful moments, on what you have learnt. Make it special, make it unique; and smile before you would have the final goodbye, it will help you to keep positive memories.
4) Take the step – do the first, small step, toward your new experiences. Then take the second one, and another one. Keep your mind open for what is new, look at the things with the curiosity of the child, and enjoy the new experiences.
This week would be my week of saying goodbye: to my home, to the city I’ve been living, to my dearest family and to my friends that made this p
art of my life so special. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I have to say goodbye to everyone and everything that enabled me having such a wonderful time in my life, knowing that every goodbye means new hello.