Saying goodbye is one of my biggest fears. Unfortunately I did that more than others of my age. In this world, if you want to get better, you have to keep going after opportunities and be adventurous. This also indicates one cannot be too comfortable.
When I was 8, my mom took me to travel to the border or Myanmar and China with some of her business counterparts and their kids. After a week of trip, I got so close to those kids that I cried when they were leaving. 6 years later, I travelled with the same group of people and the same thing happen. Only I cried harder this time.
When I was in middle school, I’ve made up my mind that I should stick with my friends until we got old. I planned a senior apartment with them and told them where everyone’s room is. We even took people’s interests (gardening, like/dislike swimming pool, playing tennis) into account. Although deep within my mind, I realized none of that would happen.
I had many piles of friends came and go through my childhood, because my parents moved quite often and I attended boarding schools most of the time. It taught me to value friendship and treasure what I have. It is important to keep in touch with friends.
Then there are situations beyond my control. Moving abroad Is one of them. Distance is one thing, the lack of common topic is another. And there is change in values. When I just moved to Canada, I tried to chat with some of my high school classmates back in China. It was exciting at the beginning, but it gradually grew dry. The city I lived in China doesn’t snow. Canada, however, is buried in snow for half of the year. I had trouble explaining things, and they had trouble understand. Gradually I could only maintain a few close friends, who are still some of my closest friends till today. After I graduated from university, I moved to Houston. There goes another challenge. Most of my friends in Toronto have never been to Texas. No matter how much I told them about it. They still think of it purely as the conservative south full of rednecks. In fact, people in Texas are warm and friendly. There is also a value difference here. Most of my university friends who decided to stay in toronto are choosing a conservative path relative to mine. Most of them like the comfort of hanging out with classmates from school, working as accountants or taking less-risky opportunities. They don’t want to believe that they might be missing out opportunities by not going abroad. It comes down to motivation and life style choices.
Then I left the US and moved to Taiwan. Then I am back, but to the east coast. Now I wonder where is the end. In the past three weeks, I visited Houston. I caught up with most of my friends there and spent time with my godmother. I tried not to get too plugged in, because plugging in will mean pain when I depart at the end. I am an extrovert with keen interest in people. Because of that, i tend to connect well and get attached easily. Departures are extremely painful to me. Yet I had to face this fear again and again.
Today I wish my dearest friends well. I might not have talked to you for a long time. That does not mean I am not paying attention to you. It does not mean I don’t miss you or never think of you. It simply means I am somewhere else, improving myself, exploring the world, or meeting new people. Please be healthy, safe and happy. Every time I see pictures of you guys having fun, I will smile.