See You Later Alligator

“See ya,” “Laters,” “Hasta la vista,” are informal farewells. Whether it is temporary or permanent, not all goodbyes are enjoyable. There are no set ways to bid adieu, it depends on the type of relationship you have with that person. If the moment of separation is intense, it can cause acute emotional discomfort.

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.” – DR Seuss

There comes a time when separation happens, you feel desperate and alone. As hard as it is, you should not pretend that you do not feel pain. It does not matter how long you have known each other, whether it is a week or your whole life, each goodbye tears a piece of your heart. It is the final step to closure, the end of a chapter. You will feel empty and bare.

“The only time a goodbye is painful is when you will never say hello again.”

Sometimes you do not get the chance to say goodbye face to face. Covid-19 and social distancing have made it impossible to say a final goodbye. You can find comfort through your grief by visiting your favourite places which will bring back happy memories. You could also play music, read a poem, or plant a tree in their memory.

“We started with a simple hello but ended with a complicated goodbye.”

Relationships are on a time limit, set for a purpose, and change depending on life circumstances. When a relationship ends, whether it is a house move or a romantic break-up, the final moment stays with us. We replay unforgettable memories of the love shared and good times spent. We hold on to our past.

“If you’ve been brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho

But not all goodbyes have to be formal and serious. If you are uncomfortable showing your emotions, you might not find the right words to say. Make it memorable by showing them the impact that they have on you. Write them a heart-felt letter, give them a hug or just wave them off with a genuine smile. Show them how you value the time spent in their company.

“When I am brave enough to say goodbye, I’ll use the wings you gave me and away I’ll fly.” – Celia McMahon

Saying goodbye to a toxic relationship should not even be debated. If you are not being valued, not being shown the same affection you have for them, then it is time to say “au revoir”. Embark on a journey of healing, open your heart to new love and opportunities. With time and patience, your broken heart will mend.

“You and I will meet again, when we’re least expecting it. One day in a far off place, I’ll recognise your face. I won’t say goodbye my friend, for you and I will meet again.” – Tom Petty

Goodbyes can be silent. Just being there with the person is enough.

So, until next time … Have a good one!

What is a Friend?

What is a friend? According to Aristotle, it is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. Hmm … is it like a peanut? I dig into my imagination and I picture a box of Maynards Bassets Liquorice Allsorts.

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and colours. Unlike with family, I can pick and choose who I want to be my friend. Friends are supposed to be people who make you laugh, support you when you are going through tough times and encourage you when you have given up. Shakespeare agrees with me with this quote:

“A friend knows you as you are, understands who you have been, accepts what you become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

No one forces their friendship on us. We go into this relationship with our eyes wide open. We look for someone who we find it easy to talk to, someone who enjoys the same things in life and at times someone who we can depend on. There are no strings attached and we are free to walk out whenever we want, no love lost. So, why does it leave a sour taste when things go awry?

As with every relationship, “give and take” is a must. If there is no real connection the friendship becomes forced. Who has not had a “fake friend” during their lifetime? Real friends can go years without communication. You will not be ostracized, as you would with a blood relative. When the friendship is genuine, that person leaves an imprint on your life which neither time nor distance can erase.

There is a bunch of Crazy Ladies whom I call friends. I have not seen most of them for over 25 years. We are no longer schoolgirls and have ditched the green uniform a long way back. We live different lives in different countries, yet Facebook has made it possible for us to reconnect.  Though we have changed as individuals, as a group we have easily settled into this renewed friendship and filled in the gaps along the way.  

Social media prevents the ember of friendship from dying but can also leave bittersweet memories. Everyone brings a different trait into this relationship: good listener, loyal, trustworthy, supportive and funny. We invest more if we feel comfortable. As adults we are no longer carefree. We are more polite and demand respect. We keep one another updated without going into details.

“Always love your friends from your heart and not from your needs” – Buddha

We do not have to hang out to consolidate any relationship. Everyone has busy lives which makes it difficult to spend time together. A strong friendship can keep two people together if there is honesty and trust. At a click, we can ‘like’ those friends or ‘delete’ them from our lives permanently. Sadly, friendship can still last without any depth or closeness … more robotic than being alive.

In my opinion, if there is a lack of mutual respect, non-judgement, understanding and support, then the other person is not worthy of my friendship. I can easily walk away, guilt-free. Oh yeah, I am that ‘biatch’. I am past the silly game of bitching and negativity. If you want to be my friend, then assume your role, otherwise, beat it mate!

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul – Proverbs 27:9

I nurture friendship with those I call “true” friends. When my friend Annie asks how I am, she waits to hear my answer. Though she knows my weakness, she shows me my strength. There is more value in a friend who understands why you are crying than those who wait to join you only when you are laughing. Genuine friendship is like a rare pearl, cherish it when you are lucky enough to find it.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one” – Ralph Waldo Emerson