Goodbyes

The theme for this week: Goodbyes. To people, feelings, places.

I’ve done internships almost every summer for the past four years. In fact, I’ve worked whenever I could, convinced that with enough exposure to the Real World, I would eventually get used to the Dirty and Scheming Corporate Drones (So far, so good. No Dirty and Scheming ones yet. Karma, please don’t bite me in the ass). So it’s safe to say that I’ve seen enough Goodbyes to know that last days predictably happen in the following fashion:

2pm: Back from lunch. Twiddles fingers. Not sure when to start clearance (corporatespeak for return your laptop and staff pass so we can officially be rid of you).

3pm: Walao eh only 1h passed? I have no more work to do!

3.05pm: Maybe I should start handing out my farewell gifts and notes. (Said farewell gifts almost always include some food item like chocolates, and said notes almost always follow a template. Cut and paste the following in different amalgamations, insert just enough Relevant Identifying Information to make the note “personal”: “Hey [insert name], Thanks so much for being patient with me over the last [insert number] weeks! I’ve learnt so much from you. Hope to see you around!”)

3.10pm: Oh god that went way too quickly. And I hope I didn’t forget anyone. I should hide until 6pm so I won’t have to face those people I just wrote notes to.

3.30pm: So. Very. Sleepy. Boredom and food coma: not a good combination to battle the Z monster.

3.40pm: Did my boss just catch me dozing off on my last day? What if he writes that into my internship evaluation? Was that a look of judgement? Oh god, I’m never coming back here. I can’t deal with this.

4pm: Okay I just have 2h left. Shouldn’t be long now. Maybe I can check with HR what the clearance procedures here are.

4.02pm: Huh, clearance only takes 15min?

5.30pm: Finally! Half an hour should be enough for clearance, and if I finish early I can head off quickly.

5.43pm: Awkward buffer time. Should I just leave quietly? Oh shit, someone just made eye contact with me. Are they coming over? Shit shit shit shit. “Are you considering coming back here to work? I better not see you! Go somewhere better!” “Ok, I try la” “Going back to school? All the best with your exams, schooling time was the best time of my life man!”

6pm: YES! That last awkward conversation took way too long. I’m off, bitches.

6.03pm: Wah I miss those idiots already. Maybe I should meet them for lunch next week?

“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”

Shel Silverstein

Goodbyes are hard. They’re messy, emotional, often awkward affairs. Everyone sucks at goodbyes (and if you don’t, you’re a cold little bitch). Come to think of it, has it ever been easy for anyone? Each side says their piece, neither side sure of when they should make the first move to… leave. What about saying goodbye to your past self? What would you say, if you had to say goodbye to your past self?

Goodbye Past Me. I’m glad you’re leaving. I’m done with your bundle of nerves and raw emotions and out-of-control crazies. Declare good riddance to your gripping, crushing, crippling late-night moments of self-doubt; yell “off you go!” to the monsters of emotional dependence on toxic humans; tell your shadows the shape of loneliness and anxiety to get lost. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Bye bye bullshit. It’s not you, it’s me, and I’m better off without you. Hello positivity. 🙂

Have you ever had the feeling of loss hit you all at once when you’re walking through the streets of a place that you know you’re walking for one last time? I often get that feeling while overseas, but yesterday I felt it strongly while walking through the corridors of the RC. I imagine the corridors to hold a thousand secrets: whispered conversations of close friends confiding, homesick voices of foreign students calling home, weary thoughts of stressed out college kids wondering which deadline to tackle next. I miss the sounds of slippers slapping the ground, of running showers and soapy suds, of the ‘ding’ of the lifts that I now associate with dining hall breakfasts and dinners. But no, don’t take this as just another overly emotional graduation post! I’m also very happy I get to feel this way. In some strange sense, missing it is proof that I once had a good time that I can always look back on. Yes, the RC is but a physical space, but it’s also the space where I got out of my comfort zone; I tried things that 18 year old me would have never imagined doing; I learnt how to fall. I loved hard and lost hard. I’ve created, destroyed, honed, metamorphosised. I hit rock bottom, and bounced right back. Ah, youth.

[insert cheesy quote here]

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Dr Seuss

I’m three weeks away from leaving the safe womb of university, and I think I’ll be way too swamped for the following weeks, so I’ll be doing this in advance: thnks fr th mmrs, I had a good time, goodbye.

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