Its all apart of the growing up process, but lately I've been thinking, the past couple of years of my life have been nothing but saying goodbye.
First off, someone who I consider to be a good friend and role model left school in pursuit of a long held dream and while I was completely happy for them, life was rather empty when they were no longer a part of its daily happenings.
Soon after, a childhood friend moved away to the UK after marrying this wonderful man. I remember this night like it was just yesterday, because when I think about it, even today, my eyes start to tear up. Its funny how it works. When a friend is getting married you often know months, if not a year in advance and its almost like this mental preparation that goes on where you are busy telling yourself that all good things come to an end and Insha'Allah the two of you remain in touch despite the perils of such great distances. Alhamdulilah with this friend, I have.
After this childhood friend moved away, my favorite cousin moved away. This cousin of mine was more like a sister to me, the one that I went to with my problems, questions, etc. She was the one who's company I was just happy to be with even if neither of us said a word. She was my heart and my soul, my everything, my sister. And her children were my pride and joy - I saw them as I believe I would my own children. Oh, what I would give to hold these little munchkins in my arms one more time.
Between then and now I have lost a number of friends. Well, not really lost, because I would like to think that they are still my friends despite the distance, but just been distanced from.
Finally....I hope finally, although this is a loss that I am dreading very much to suffer. One of my best friends is moving to some remote country in the middle of World (I know where, but we'll try and keep some anonymity) after she marries her high school sweetheart this weekend...well, they weren't dating nor did they go to high school together but since high school the thought of marriage to each other has been on their minds. This friend of mine is the holder of my secrets, while I could talk to my cousin (the one who is like my sister) there are certain things you keep for your best friend, there are certain memories that you share with this friend of yours, jokes, laughs, stories from when we were dorks in high school, the dumb things we used to do, the ways in which we twisted the truth to make our parents think that we were being good girls (and while its not something to joke about, we do and it makes us happy). I wonder how I am going to survive this separation. How is my life going to be when my best friend of forever leaves? Who's house will I run to early in the morning, before breakfast, when my heart is broken, who's shoulder will I cry on? Who is going to tell me everything will be okay, even though its not okay? While I am certain that we will keep in touch through emails, phone calls, snail mail, etc. its not the same...because sometimes I need her tight bear hugs, the kind that make me feel like I can't breath, but in a good way. Sometimes I need her to try funky facial masks that she concocted in her head (even though they don't work) on me. Sometimes all I need is for her to make fun of me when I am being my regular goofy self. Sometimes I need to see her do a wacky dance like she does when she's cooking in the kitchen. The bottom line is, I need her. And it is true, you never know what you have until you have to give it up.
If saying goodbye is part of growing up, then growing up STINKS!
I had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me about a brother she had in mind for me, after agreeing with the idea of marriage in the near future her next question was "do mind if you would have relocate?" My answer was "no", although I have never lived in another country or state for that matter. I have never been away from my parents for more than two months and although there are times that I wish I could trade my family in, for the most part they are tolerable. Of course, I have no intention of geographically restricting myself as I have said that finding a good spouse is quite the challenge these days. I just can't help but think how difficult it is to pack up your life for someone that you know for about a couple of months to live with this person and leave behind your love ones. Alhamdulilah, these days the task is not as hard as it has been in the past as we have wonderful modes of technology (I mean, planes can take you anywhere in the world in a matter of one to two days). And then I think about my grandmother and how she married a stranger and moved to another country for him and how she left behind her family in the days when the means of traveling cross country was by ship and when making an international phone call was very expensive. I think we are still spoiled.
I find that since we are young (especially sisters) we are trained to think as if one day we will find our prince charming and that we will marry him and no longer live in our mother's home. I suppose that's life, but I cannot imagine not seeing my mother for 20 years on end. I cannot imagine what life would be like if I couldn't just pop into my parent's room on a weekend to laugh, talk and have tickle fights (my parents are 50 year old teenagers). I just can't picture what life would be like in such a situation, I guess we will just have to wait and see.
As for now, I am kind of like an empty nester. I used to be a social butterfly who had plans every weekend, who was out late at night having a laugh with her friends and now my calendars are empty and I am left to myself. I imagine my day to finally be the one being told goodbye is somewhere in the near future, until then I'll be here, in my empty nest with my empty calendar