Day 34 - September 20
This will not be a real post, like, for example, my travel tips posts. But I really want to tell you about one of the most heartbreaking traditions that became a part of my life - a goodbye party.
You should know something about it, if you every were an international volunteer, a foreign exchange student, did a civil service or any type of an Erasmus+ project (including youth exchanges and training courses.
I remember that we started thinking about leaving after our project the moment we started it. One of my fellow volunteers said: "I know I will cry so hard after these 9 months!". Little did we know, the crying hard part started in a few weeks...
We went for the on-arrival training and after a week had to say goodbye to every other volunteer we've met there. I did a TC as a support stuff and then everybody left (including one of my new best friends, who I've met there). Then people I was seeing every day started to leave - their projects were finishing, their visas were expiring etc. People were having their goodbye parties and going back to Bulgaria, Nepal, Germany, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, France, Austria... And it continued to be like this until it was the time for my own goodbye party...
It might come as a surprise, but I hate change. Yes, I moved from country to country a bit, but I really hate it when things are ending and you need to say goodbye to people. I'm kinda okay with people leaving when they are happy to start a new page in life, but when it's not like that it really breaks my heart. The end of almost every project is always sad for me, and leaving Sicily after my EVS put me into the deepest and longest depression. Yes, I know it's all inevitable, but it doesn't make it less sad.
I actually didn't even want to have a goodbye party. Mostly because I didn't want to say goodbye. I wanted to stay and continue doing what I do good, wanted to be with the people I got to love, wanted to still live in the craziest city I've ever seen (with all it's pros and cons). Two months before I left one of my colleagues asked me what am I planning to do for my party, and I literally got tears in my eyes.
But at one point I realized I just need to stop fighting and just do it. I've created a FB event and invited everyone I knew for a pub crawl. And just lived through the night. My wonderful girls baked me a cake, we went out, I saw many people I haven't seen for months, and... well, it was okay. I thought that I'm finally done with saying goodbyes and, if I will come back to Sicily again, this time it will all be different.
*Spoiler - it's not.
I still make friends with the international crowd - volunteers, interns, exchange students. They still organize goodbye parties and leave. And I still get sad when it happens.
Today I said goodbye to one of my flatmates - she just finished her internship in translations and is going back home tomorrow morning. Tonight we did all the Sicilian necessities - aperitivo, ice cream and granita, walked around a lot, waited for rain to stop for about 40 minutes.
It was nice, And sad. And inevitable.
So what do I chose to do about it? Not being friends with people, who are going to leave soon? Or try to grow a thicker skin and not to let myself get sad?
The answer is - nothing. I chose not to do anything. I cannot change this part of me, and I also don't want to live without having cool international friends. I chose to make friends and get sad when they live. La vita è cosi.