These have been an important couple of weeks: first, Clare left a job she spent six years in; then, we both finished classes (for definite – no going back to uni this time); finally, we both said the first of many goodbyes to one of our new friends.
I can’t say I’ll miss the classes too much. They were fine: stressful at times, good at times. It’s funny, but whenever an experience like this comes to an end, the rose-tinted glasses go on. So many times I’ve been stressed out by a job or whatever, and almost the second it is finished all the bad stuff is forgotten. You can’t help reminiscing about the good times. And those are all about the people you spent them with.
When I look back on this postgrad, I won’t remember running to hand in essays, every obstacle thrown in my way; I’ll forget the times I was so stressed I cried or the things that made me hopping mad. Instead, I’ll remember the last day at our old campus, when I stopped everyone to get a photo before we left; the day we launched our magazine; our trip to The Burn, a retreat in the Highlands where we had a getting-to-know-you trip at the start of the year. I’ll remember lunches in cafés we couldn’t really afford, wandering around the Christmas market, going to London, people’s birthdays, a friend getting engaged.
I’ve been lucky to do an Erasmus exchange and work abroad, meeting lots of people who are very important and then are gone. In the grand scheme of things, you’ve known them for a moment, and yet they just might leave a lasting impression. Of course, there are others you’ll have great times with and ultimately forget. That might sound sad, but it’s not really. Some people are only there as long as you need them, and there’s something nice about that. There’s a comfort in thinking there are plenty of people out there who could be great friends in different circumstances; you’ll meet them wherever you go.
Goodbye is one of those brilliant themes that provokes beautiful songs, poetry and writing, but let’s just go back to old Bill who summed it up thus: ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow.’ It’s true that you don’t really know what he’s talking about until you say goodbye to someone you know you will probably never see again. They are one of that group of people who are only meant to stay into your life for a little while.
I hope that’s not true of the friends I’ve made this year. For the others who have come and gone already, this is for you, too. There’s an amazing song from a stunning musical that expresses it all perfectly:
I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason,
Bringing something we must learn,
And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them –
And we help them in return.
Well I don’t know if I believe that’s true,
But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.
I could fill an entire blog with photos and great memories I have from this year, but I’ll stop there. I’ve talked for a while now without getting to the point. Maybe I won’t say it.
Let’s make it a ‘See you later’ instead.
Better yet, a ‘See you soon’.