Travelling is great. You get to know new places, meet new people and get to know yourself better than on any other way. But travelling also means you are leaving on one point or another. You are constantly on the move. Goodbyes are kind of part of the whole packages. And – to be frank – they suck.
Once again, it is time for me to leave. I’ve got my bags packed and boarding pass ready. Tomorrow morning I’ll be leaving for Dublin, where I’ll be doing my minor in photography for half a year. It is an exciting time. A time full of new faces and adventures. I’m grateful for being able to have opportunities like this. I’m grateful that my family and friends have always been nothing but supportive. But I’m also so incredibly torn. Why can’t I just be happy with where I am? Why do I feel the continuous need to keep going? Just one more step. Just a little further.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci
The Doctor’s Son
The doctor’s son comes from a family where medical terms were part of the dinner table discussion. And just like his mother, he feels the need to help, to heal, to save people. He never dreamed of becoming a firefighter. Never dreamed of stepping on the moon. He wanted to become a doctor. Throughout high school, he studied and studied, always with the goal in mind to get into medical school. And now, after he graduated, he actually made it. He’s studying medicine. And the best thing? He loves it. It is his thing. His passion. He knows where to go. He knows who he is. He belongs.
We all know someone like this. And if it’s not medicine, it’s law or business or something else. I never understood those people. But I always envied them. I wanted to be as certain, as passionate, as determined. I never was. I never knew what I was doing or where I was going. I was never sure that my decisions were correct. Never sure if the path I’m going would lead me to where I want to be. But there’s this pain in my chest, this pressure on my heart. And it’s pulling me. Again and again. Away from what I know. Away from the people I love. Always searching for something that would fill the gap. Cure the pain. Release the pressure. Just one more step. Just a little further.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
I think this quote sums it up pretty good: You will never be completely home again. It’s the price people like we pay. I’m home in the town I was born and raised. But I’ve never felt this true sense of belonging. I feel at home in Melbourne where I worked and lived independently for the first time in my life. I feel at home in Utrecht where most of my friends live. But I also feel at home at every friend’s place I visit. I know I’ll be feeling at home in Dublin and all the future places. Saying goodbye to a fixed ‘place to call home’ might be one of the hardest goodbyes of your life but it is also the greatest gift of all. Only if you embrace the goodbyes, you learn to value every hello. And aren’t these ‘hellos’ the ones that really matter?
“Don’t be afraid of new beginnings. Don’t shy away from new people, new energy, new surroundings. Embrace new chances at happiness.” – Billy Chapata
I would be lying if I’d say I’m not scared. New beginnings are always scary. I spent the last two months living back at my mum’s after I gave up my place in Utrecht. No doubt, living here is by far the most comfortable thing. I love my mum and my brother so much. Being able to spend so many nights together on our balcony was a true blessing. Also, living close to my very best friend has been so recharging. I feel so full of love. And I get why people stay. I really do. But there’s something about new beginnings that is worth all the pain of saying goodbye.
You can start over again. Reinvent yourself. Or begin to truly understand who you’ve always been. Deep down inside. It’s your chance to find a different kind of happiness. A different kind of love. And if you’re lucky, you find what you are looking for. New beginnings are my kind of medicine. And all I need to do is to be brave enough. Brave enough to go this one more step. Just a little further.
Do you know that feeling? What’s your way of dealing with goodbyes?