By: Maria Farag Change is hard. In fact, when it’s happening, it often feels like the end of the world. More often than not, we fear change. We fear it because it’s uncomfortable, even though discomfort is necessary at times when something huge is about to happen in our lives. Goodbyes are a great example of this; goodbyes are the beginning and the end of our chapters. They are our internal revolutions and whether we like it or not, they are there to cause a riot between the two parts of ourselves that are constantly on the battlefield against each other: Our emotional and our logical minds. Logic knows that goodbyes are inevitable, emotions hope that they aren’t. My best friend inspired this article after heading to the UK to study abroad, and though I am not one to admit these kinds of things, it has been difficult learning to cope with the civil war going on in my head since she left. Between the parts of me that want the best for her and the other ones that selfishly want to hold onto her for as long as I can, it feels like a conflict that will not die down any time soon. And so, I have found that the only way that I may ever find peace and tranquility within this mind of mine that doesn’t shut up, is to discuss the different and many kinds of goodbyes that change us forever. This is for the ones who can’t seem to get rid of that emptiness that stays afterwards… don’t lose hope. I’m struggling too.

1. Who will I be without you?

This is when your best friend, family member or someone you care about in general decides to pick up and leave the country for the sake of their future. Usually when this happens, speaking out of personal experience, three thoughts cross our minds:
  1. "I’M SO HAPPY THAT YOU’RE HAPPY!!! OH MY GOD I’M SO PROUD OF YOU WELL DONE!!!"
  2. "Wait a minute, what about me?"
  3. "If this country provided better education this wouldn’t be happening, this is so unfair."
It is the second thought that usually leaves us in despair after they are gone, simply because when they leave it feels as if a part of us has been removed as well. For a while, we may even lose ourselves and when that happens, we will try to distract ourselves. However, we mustn’t lose hope in finding what was once lost, for everything lost will always reveal itself in the end.

2. ‘Cause I’m leaving on a Jet Plane…

To be fair, I’ve decided to speak for the lost souls on the other side of that argument. It isn’t easy being in a new country on your own and saying goodbye to everything you’ve ever known. In fact, there are times when you will miss the people who bugged you to hang out back home, you will miss your annoying clingy siblings and you will miss the person you used to be before you travelled. Sometimes you will feel so homesick it will make you want to die. Here’s some good news though: You won’t. You will fall in love with the cities and countries that you are afraid of being in and you will transform yourself into a person that you may not even recognize at times. It will destroy you, and yet, it will be one of the best things you’ll ever encounter. Most of all: don’t lose hope. Home is always a plane ride away, so you’re going to be okay.

3. You’ll be in my heart

Many agree that death is the hardest goodbye of them all and I do not disagree. Losing someone you love, whether it’s due to a disease, an accident or even them ending their lives, it crushes you. You will remember the good times, and you will cry… a lot. It’s not the memories that will hurt; it’s going to be the ones that will never happen in the future. It will shake you to your very core, so do not ignore it. As I mentioned before, it is inevitable. However I would like to emphasize a thought that comforts many despite their beliefs: Goodbye is never forever. As for me, I hold onto that.

4. Got a long list of ex-lovers

I’m not one to talk about relationships, and it’s not because I’m being modest or anything but I genuinely care very little for them. Yet I can’t help but empathize with those who go through break-ups and are forced to mend their hearts afterwards. I can’t imagine loving and giving myself to someone and then have it not work out after everything we’ve been through. The thought alone terrifies me, so to everyone who has been forced to endure that, I whole-heartedly believe that there will come a day where (if you give yourself the chance) you will give yourself to someone else, and it will be worth it. It won’t be the same, but if everything was always the same we would never learn to grow. A caterpillar would never become a butterfly if it didn’t tolerate the cocoon. To be honest, I’ve spent the past 2 weeks learning how to forget a goodbye that I had to make after having very little time to emotionally prepare for it, and it is only after writing this article that I have learnt that it cannot be ignored. The impact a goodbye leaves is one that stays with us, and though we don’t learn to get used to it, we learn to adapt. And when we do? The emptiness that comes with the impact fades, and we become a better version of ourselves. Learn to tolerate your cocoon, it doesn’t last forever.