Its that time of year again, just as the weather begins to warm up and flowers begin to bloom, the good-byes also begin. For the last three springs life has taken a turn and my friends and I have gone separate ways. These parting friendships are caused by geographical relocations rather than frictions between personalities. The six pack of friends that I have made during my time in the Netherlands is starting to fall apart. Line is the first to leave this week as she heads back to South Africa. The rest of us will peal away between now and May. Since the au pair program only allows participants to stay in the country for a year, we all knew this was coming, however it doesn’t make the separation any easier.
The constant turnover of friends caused by relocation has been a large part of my life for the last 4 years. Each time I change location I have to say goodbye to people that have been an integral part of my life, and hope that there will be people crazy enough to be my friend in my next place of residence.
Saying goodbye to friends I’ve made abroad is especially difficult. Many of my friends are not from America, thus greatly diminishing the chances that we will be in the same geographical location. My friends are scattered around the globe, making visits expensive, and time consuming.
Although I have had a great deal of experience in department of the farewell, I’m still not proficient. Goodbyes are never easy but I feel that I am rather clumsy during the parting words. How do you sum up your time together in a eloquent way while expressing your admiration for the other person. I usually just awkwardly hug, and spit out a few words between the tears. Or there’s no tears and I feel even worse that I’m not displaying the appropriate amount of emotion. Later on I always review in my head the several ways I could have made the parting of ways much more special.
The farewells are coming whether or not I’m prepared for them, and hopefully they’ll be better than my usual, “umm well I’ll see you around. Oh crap not really. I’m going to miss you. Bye. See you, ummm sometime. Travel safe.”