Goodbyes are Sucky

Goodbyes are sucky.

Goodbyes are really sucky, no matter which way you look at them (I guess I’ve never looked at one upside down, perhaps they are a little more fun if you are upside down?). When I say goodbyes, I don’t just mean ‘have a good day at work, see you tonight’ or ‘thanks for the hangs today, gotta make this train’ kind of goodbyes, I mean proper ‘I’m leaving the country, wont see you for a few years’ or ‘maybe this is the last time I will EVER see you’ kind of goodbyes. You know, the rough ones. The tear jerkers. They usually and not un-coincidently include your favourite humans. That’s one of the biggest contributing factors to their suckiness.

Airport goodbyes are even suckier. I’ve had more than my fair share of those. I’m emotional at the best of times, but add an airport scenario to it and it magnifies the suckiness to the power of a bazillion. There is the confusion of being excited because you/they are travelling and doing something damn exciting, but sadness because you aren’t going with them and won’t see them for god knows how long. You also are meant to be busy playing it cool at an airport. Everyone is pretending they are high flyers (especially if you are flying on your own) being as nonchalant as possible about the whole gig and an emotional goodbyes mess that whole look up.

What about goodbye protocol – Is it good for them to see you cry, or should you hide it? If it’s in public, some people don’t like a public cry (see previous blog!) Do you turn around? Do you just keep walking? I never know what the right thing to do here is. So much pressure. What do you even say? See you soon? (that’s usually what I go with and that piles on even more awkwardness).

I wouldn’t put goodbyes as a skill on my resume. I’m not very good at them and even with practice, I’m not improving. I get all awkward and start talking about other things, the real things I want to say get kind of stuck in my throat, I will do anything to avoid having that moment where we have to talk about the fact that this is IT, no more business as usual, gotta go for a long time, (maybe forever) moment.

I’ve been thinking about goodbyes a bit lately, this is because I am gearing up to have a whole bunch of them. I have already had to have a few that snuck up on me a little (even suckier!). I have a great big tribe of special humans (also described as favourites) that I will have to awkwardly and blatantly lie to when I say ‘see you soon’. The suckiness rating will be out of control and there will be tears from here to Sunday.

BUT the reason it will be sucky is because I have so many absolutely amazing things to miss. So many beautiful people that have come my way here in London and made my time here (big call about to happen here….) the best in my life. I have memories of good times I will cherish forever, So many (maybe all the) lols and adventures to smile about when I am older. Only good things are hard to say goodbye to and to quote one of my favourite inspirational characters Winnie the Pooh ‘How lucky I am to have something that is so hard to say goodbye to’.

Goodbyes usually equal a hello too and hello’s knock my happiness socks right off. It’s inching close to two years (that flew by in a blink!) since I have seen a lot of faces I love so much and I cannot wait to have them right up next to me for hugs, cheek pinches and reunions over meal’s, beers or in the case of my god daughters I’m hoping for a reunion tea party and bounce on the trampoline.

I get to say hello to some of the non-human things I have been missing of late as well. I was doubting my nationality when I wasn’t craving Tim-Tams, Vegemite and shapes when I first arrived in the UK, but I am literally dreaming of the whole days spent on the beach, perfect prawns, wearing a bikini and thongs non-stop for a week (and not having to deal with the giggles of people around me when I say thongs), bike rides, (consistently) good coffee, trips to Woolies/Coles (in your swimmers and thongs of course!) to pick up more fresh bread rolls and a chook for dinner.

Finally, I am grateful that goodbyes now are only physical goodbyes. Technology keeps us close and stops people from becoming strangers. Sure it is not the same as being face to face, but if people are meant to stay as part of your life, distance won’t stop that from being the case.

So, if I have to say goodbye to you, it’s going to be awkward, I’ll try and avoid it (I will literally sneak out of places if I think I can get away with it!), procrastinate about it, talk incessantly (you might not notice as it is not that different to normal), I’m not going to know what to say, it won’t be heartfelt, but please don’t be offended and know that I hope someday we can have another hello and don’t be a stranger, you know I LOVE a chat and I love to keep my collection of great humans as large as possible.

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I’ll Cry if I Want To !

It might shock you to know that I cry a lot. I am not even one little bit ashamed of it (anymore). Ironically, it goes hand in hand with the laughing a lot thing. As they say, it is both a blessing and a curse to feel things so deeply and I am not ashamed of it (anymore). Don’t forget that tears are not always reserved for sadness. I would need to borrow alot of fingers and toes to count the number of times I have cried happy tears. I’ll cry because I am tired, because somebody showed compassion to me, because I saw a beautiful view (the first time I saw the Southern Alps in NZ, or when I first saw falling snow), I will cry and laugh at the same time and I will very very often laugh so hard I cry!

Despite it actually being a good thing to do, crying has a bad rep, (perhaps like the dentist I guess?). Especially for men. Sure some men fully endorse a cry and then some men genuinely don’t need to. I wholeheartedly support both of these policies. What I am strongly opposed to is the cultural pressure for men to hold back the tears because it threatens their masculinity and that they are seen to be emotionally weaker because they seemingly cannot control it. What a load of bollocks! It should be the opposite, that you are strong enough to show what you stand for and that you have morals, strong values and you have things in life that matter enough to you. Without emotions, we are just robots and being a robot sounds like zero fun to me. We need to stop teaching kids that tears are for the weak and shouldn’t be shared in front of people. What is possibly so threatening about a little drop of water sneaking out of your eye and rolling down your face?

Sure, not all tears are positive. Tears flow for sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes horrific, sometimes brutal reasons and nobody should have to experience that. They do also make us feel vulnerable because they are raw emotion and that’s very exposing. I also won’t say the big old howling, can’t breath, eyes get so puffy they almost close over kind of cry is my go to activity for lols and good times, but ‘they’ do say that most (a massive 9 out of 10) people feel better after a cry. When I say ‘they’ I mean the science-y and researcher-y ‘they’ and ‘they’ sure sound like they know that ‘they’ are talking about.

I have cried and cried and cried (in a huffy, puffy, hyperventilate-ry way) so much that there is literally nothing left. (Unfortunately it was not for the sake of research, but I don’t need to justify the reason either!!) After what feels like a flood of tears that go on so long that my audience start looking around for supplies to build an arc, finally when there is not one more tear, huff, quivering lip or sigh left, I can usually say, I feel better. Sure it won’t have fixed the problem, but it doesn’t feel as big anymore. Maybe it’s down to emotional release (as good old cliché ‘they’ say tears wash away the pain) or just exhaustion, but either way, what a magical power tears seem to have and I can’t see how holding that in could be good for you!

One of the things that makes me giggle is when people confess (or I just ask them) the seemingly ridiculous reasons they cry. I’m not just talking cutting onions, but something silly like losing it because you didn’t have enough silver tinsel to cover all of the Christmas tree and the red just doesn’t go with the purple or because your big sister called shotgun on the front seat of the car faster than you… You know, the big issues in life!

One of my best was that I cried because it was windy at the beach. I’m not just talking a little boo-hoo, fairly passive little disappointed tear. I lost it completely. Apparently I had been looking forward to the beach and all it’s sunny, calm, salt water curing all wounds kind of glory all week and my life was completely ruined by the wind. You would have thought somebody cut off my arm from the way I was reacting. I think it was a long nap helped me more than the cry that day.

So, my wish for you is that you don’t have enough fingers and toes to count your happy tears and I hope they are the ones where you laugh and cry so much that you cant even remember why you are laughing and crying. I also hope you don’t have tears of grief or heartbreak, but if you must or need to, take the advice of someone more credible than me and never be ashamed!

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