Goodbye & Hello

End of February

I had been talking about it for weeks…I didn’t want Amanda to leave. The time had finally come for her to hand in her books at school and pack her bags. Her leaving Taiwan wasn’t just a friend saying goodbye for now, it was the start of the new trend that would take over my life for the next six months. Amanda would leave, Alex would move back to the states, Laura and Sean would move back to England, and Kristen would move down to southern Taiwan. Everyone is leaving!

For months I was also in the same boat. I kept saying I needed to leave or I was going to die in Taiwan. I know. I know. How surprised are you to hear such ridiculousness from my mouth? That’s right, you’re not. I kept telling Alex that I just need to leave Taiwan and move to Australia for a bit before I go to graduate school in the US. Then, my boss sat me down for a conversation and asked me if I would be willing to move into Taichung and become a supervisor at a different school. I mulled about it for a bit and then I said yes.

So there I was, all of a sudden no longer leaving Taiwan, but my “family away from family” was moving on to the next step in their life. Am I upset at them? Heck no! I was going to do the same thing. In fact, I am superrrrr (yes that super) about them taking the next leap. I just wish I was taking it with them. I guess this is yet another life lesson I need to learn. How to adult, or whatever.

The first step in learning how to adult was figuring out how to say goodbye to my lovely, lovely friends. (Yes, they are that lovely. I really need to tone it down but I can’t seem to stop myself.)

On Amanda’s last day, I had to work while everyone went to hotpot dinner. I met up with them afterwards and we took a taxi down to Taichung for a KTV night. Amanda, Anthony, Alice, Charlie and I were joined by Amanda’s replacement, James. A nice guy from England. We all had plenty of drinks, laughs, and sang several throwback songs. We later chatted at Anthony’s apartment and then went our separate ways.

As Amanda and I got ready to go to sleep we had one last deep conversation about relationships and life. I breathed in so much gratitude that I had met her, said one last goodnight to my adventurous friend, and then fell asleep.

In the morning, with a hangover, I got Amanda downstairs and into a cab. As I said my goodbyes I teared up and said “I love you”. I was so proud of her, but this wave of melancholy rushed over me. It was only goodbye for now…I could feel it…but I was still sad.

Later, I took James to a classic Laura and Sean get together at their place. We both had a great time. As I was  driving us home James told me what a wonderful group of people they were. I smiled and agreed. I am so lucky.

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I love my friends, my chosen family. Hello, and goodbye for now.