Well, I guess this cycle always repeats. It gets less dramatic each and every time but it has never got any easier. Let’s look at the history then.
My first so called “farewell” happened 11 years ago, about this time in 1999. There were 11 of us when we graduated from primary school. Most of us had been together like forever when it happened. I had 2 best friends back then and had never gone through any day without talking to them. It was hard to be separated especially when you had a crush on one of them. So, yep…. We were sad, I was sad (and panic should I say). I was a very quiet kid who never started any conversation before being asked. And for 6 years I had been in my comfort zone with those who respected me and knew me well. Thinking of having to start from zero again, can you imagine how stressful and scared I was? Well, anyway we (I and my 2 best friends) managed to keep in touch until 2-3 years after graduation. Yeah…. only that far. My last meeting with one of them happened about 3 years ago. And I have no idea how are they now.
The second one happened 3 years after, year is 2002, my junior high graduation. It was pretty okay (given that I can’t recall any from that event). During the three years I spent in that school, I had fights with ALL of my close friends. Perhaps that’s why I don’t remember myself fell into a deep mourning that time. Nevertheless, I did make sure I clear all the problems before I left. There were 6 of us in our group (I refuse to refer us as a gang), and we are still meeting up occasionally at least once a year.
The saddest farewell happened only 5 years ago, on 30th May 2005 (if I’m not mistaken). I was very close with this friend of mine and I can say that I owe her almost everything. Well, let’s say that I was on edge during that time. I was lost and then found by this girl. She knew almost everything about me and helped me a lot to get through each and every problem I faced. I was difficult back then, always felt I’m not good enough to do anything and always had a hard time to make a decision. She was there all the time, encouraging me and solved my problems even when she was sick. I remember praying hard for both of us to get accepted to the same university, but God decided otherwise and I guess that is for our good. I was in tears for days (almost a week) when she left. I thought I lost everything, the most valuable thing in my life, my friendship with her. But it says that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And here we are 5 years later still together and still best friends. I am still in touch with 4 of my best friends up until now and some other friends from high school. We are still good and I’m quite positive that we will be good for a very long time (Amen to that).
Perhaps my good relationship with all my best friends in high school triggered me to feel better about farewell. Although, again it didn’t get easier. Yet, now I know that farewell doesn’t mean the end of everything. Now I know that distance can’t separate you from people you love and care about. It is just an excuse to detach yourself from them, not a valid reason, not anymore. A year and half ago, I left Singapore and went back to Jakarta. I left a few of best friends back then (I admit I only had few friends in uni but I did take care all of them) and I lied if I said I didn’t feel sad. I did get my face wet with tears and I did write some farewell notes for them. I did that just to make sure that I have thanked them for everything they had done for me in case we will not be in touch anymore. But thank God, I still have them in my contact list and we manage to stay in touch up until this very day. So again, distance is not the reason…. It is just an excuse.
Last Friday was my last farewell event. I have a friend who had been my colleague for the last 1.5 years. We started together as a new teacher and she decided to resign from the school a few months ago. Last Friday was officially the last day we had together as colleagues. She is flying overseas next July to continue her study, taking an early start beating me behind planning my next stop. I used to have lunch with her, and we would go during the weekends to watch movies or simply hunting nice food all around Jakarta. There gone my lunch mate…. Another good friend also left the school to go back to Sg. She was my senior in NTU and joined the school a year ago. She was like a big sister to me (literally tall and nicely built) or should I say a bodyguard? She would do all the dirty jobs when all I needed to do is just waiting and watching how things nicely and perfectly done. A nice friend and a dedicated teacher no doubt. I am still inspired by her passion to be a teacher (something that I don’t have). She is a very blunt, truthful and honest person, and I honestly think we need more people like her in this school. They are people who do more than spilling excessive words, people who earn my respect, people who know it very well that sometimes we need to lose in order to win. So here I am, saying good bye to them and praying hard that we’ll stay in touch for many years ahead.