Goodbyes are never easy. I said “goodbye” to my mum, my friends, my family and my home just over two months ago, and I remember holding my breath and telling myself everything would be okay because I knew that I was making the right decision.
My mum promised me it wouldn’t be long until I saw her again, and she wasn’t lying.
Today I said goodbye to my mum for the second time during my travels, but not for the last time.
I’m in such a privileged position that my mum works for an airline, and therefore is a) extremely well travelled and open to travelling and b) has so many opportunities to come and visit me.
She flew out to Canada from the UK five days ago to visit me, on British Mother’s Day, and to have the opportunity to see my mum on that special day was so magical. I got to chat with her and have a cup of tea and give her a gift. I got to tell her, in person, how special she is to me and how grateful I am for her- which I guess is the whole point of the day.
She hung out with me in the city that I now get to call home, and I showed her around. I took her to my favourite restaurants and bars, for brunch and lunch and drinks at the top of a sky scraper so that we could take in “The 6ix” together.
In turn she got to tell me how proud she is of me for making the leap across the ocean to pursue my dreams and live a life that I have always dreamt of.
I’ve grown so much already in such a short space of time, and to know that my best friend who has been with me from the very beginning- before I was even a thing– is happy, well, that’s just the best feeling.
I remember a time, stood in a cobbled courtyard on a spring day in Leeds. I could smell the Moroccan restaurant my apartment faced, and feel the chill in the air even though it had been a warm day, as I watched her Fiat500 pull out of the parking lot and onto the road that would lead her home. I was only a 1 hour 30 minute drive from home and yet I felt a million miles away. My heart yearned to get into that car with her and travel up that road to Sunderland, away from the heartache that I thought surrounded me. I was so melancholy I was practically scripted for a Shakespearean drama.
But this time, things have changed.
Every second with her was filled with joy, and felt like I hadn’t been apart from her for one minute, but at the same time, was tainted with the ominous looming cloud of the goodbye that was to come.
I was sad before she even arrived, because I knew the dreaded goodbye was always lurking in the shadows, sneering at our smiles.
But in reality, once I bid her adieu for a second time, I realised that the goodbye isn’t sad at all. It’s a joyous goodbye.
The only reason I’ve had to say farewell to her is because I’m doing something that is making all of my favourite people impressed and happy for me. I’m fulfilling my potential, and nothing worth having ever comes easy.
I don’t want to get on the plane with her and go back to that little town where I don’t think I felt real belonging, although I wish I could stay with her.
The goodbyes will never get easier, but I think that they will always be worth it.