Saying Goodbye!

Most people don’t like saying goodbyes. They are tough, emotional and heart wrenching. And I think most people are not very good at it. There’s something final about a good bye because you will probably never be that same person again, and in some cases you know you will never meet that person again.

My major goodbye was when I left India to come to US for education. It was my first time out of home, out of country and coming 7000 miles away was a very big step. I still remember the hot August afternoon when I said my byes to my parents before stepping into the terminal to check in my bags. I don’t remember what was going on in my mind at that time, other than stress and panic about the flight ahead. I have thought about that afternoon a lot of times since then and I think I never quite understood the magnitude of what I was doing at that time. I have been to India numerous times since then but I never returned back the same person that I was on that innocent august afternoon.

I hate saying goodbyes. I have had to and still say it every time I come back from India. A part of me doesn’t want to leave home and a part of me knows that I have to go back to the new home. But the main reason I hate good byes is my aversion to change. I believe most of us find safety and haven in familiarity and that’s why don’t like saying good bye to that familiarity. For me, everything that is familiar is safe. I always wanted to be a doctor, but since I couldn’t get an admission in a medical school in Mumbai or nearby regions I opted to go to Pharmacy school. I could have got an admission in a far flung town in a different state, but I never even thought of applying to those places. It was a big change and I didn’t want to make it at that time. But fate decided that I had to move further away from home and despite of my misgivings I applied for MS program in Boston; almost 7000 miles away from home.

While being one of the toughest decisions, I think it was the best one for me. Good byes are an indication of an incoming change and changes are good for you. Life was not meant to be lived always in familiar surroundings and safety. While saying a good-bye is difficult and making changes is difficult, that’s the only way to grow and flourish. Being in Boston for last 8 years, I have again found my familiarity and comfort level. I have grown complacent and once more afraid of changes. If I ever end up saying good-bye to this city, it will be as bad as saying good-bye to Mumbai all those years ago-if not worse!

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