It was easy till I was 14, with the small town mentality. Grow up, get a job, work around the world perhaps. Spend the weekends chilling.
All of a sudden, I was given 2 weeks notice. I was going to Australia, and I wasn't coming back for 7 years. I couldn't tell enough people that I was leaving. All the dearest people in my lives. I still managed to miss a few people- people who would call months later to hear I was now studying overseas.
Everyone reacted with shock. People cried. I recieved boxes of letters with email addresses attached. When my mother saw the sheer amount of people at the airport to see me off, she jokingly told me it looked like I was going on haj.
Back then, I had the naive belief that I would somehow keep in touch with everyone. Of course, it never happened.
As I met more and more people from all over the world, I realised that these people would all be moving on to someplace else, or to where they or their parents came from. Very few would be staying in Australia permanently.
I made friends with them at different times, and they left at different times. As time went on, It got easier to come to terms with the fact that you would lose contact with these people. Or that you would never see these people again, because as with all things, we let it slide.
It got easier to understand the concept of keeping these people in your hearts, without contacting them.
There are some people I dearly wish I could see one more time, just to see if they're alright. Or people who cross my mind every once in a while, and I smile wistfully, wondering if they remember me at all.
I took a rough count and realised I've said my goodbyes to more than 600 people now. perhaps 150 of them were close, or I was fond of.
It's been close to 8 years since I said my first goodbyes. I keep in contact with so few of those people now.
Perhaps we are more nostalgic because it was time, place and circumstance that we drifted, and not of natural "drifting". They had to go. I had to go. It was never an option.
I ought to be flattered that people are so desperate for me to stay they're offering me their hands in marriage. But all it does is make me sadder that soon, my wandering soul will leave them all behind.
It may get easier, but it never feels any better.