On leaving

I knew from the minute I made the decision that people are going to judge. I expected that much.

Some are going to be happy for me.

Some are going to question me.

Some are going to doubt me.

Some are going to tell me what I should really be doing instead.

Some are going to tell me I’m making a mistake I’m going to regret.

What about family? What about your friends? What about your life here? Gina, doesn’t that mean anything to you? Why are you going to a place so far away, leaving all the good stuff you have here behind? When you leave, you’re going to realise how good a life you have here. You’re going to regret this, silly.

And I will. I know I will. What made you think I haven’t thought about that? From the minute I signed my name, I was already prepared to say goodbye when the time comes. I know I won’t ever be ready for it. Every good day spent with good friends and good conversations is a day my heart aches a little more inside when I get back home because I know how all this is going to end. And when the time comes, I know I’ll have to smile and pretend I’m okay, so that people don’t have to worry. I even made a photo album named ‘Made of Sweet Peas and Michaelmas Daisies’, which means “Thank you for a lovely time” and “Farewell”, to remind myself that the bliss I’m feeling now will end someday and that I should treasure and appreciate every single moment while I’m still here.

Is it going to be worth it? I don’t know. I won’t know until I’m there. But I know a lot of things have changed for the better for me ever since I planned to say goodbye. Starting with the ones I love. Interactions with them became so much more colourful. Conversations became deep and intimate. What they say are most probably right. You won’t really know just how much you have until you’ve either lost or realise how much you’re going to lose later.

And most importantly, I know I won’t find what I’m looking for here. And that is to experience life. And I’ll have to start somewhere.

There are so many other reasons why I want to leave. But most won’t bother to even listen to the whole story or try to understand where I’m coming from or give me the courage I need to go forth because all people want to do is validate their own life and choices. I get that. And that’s okay. I’m not asking people to understand anyway. And I understand now, even more than ever, that at the end of the day, you are truly really alone and no one else can live your life for you. In the end, everyone’s gotta live their own life but of course, you get to choose who you get to share your life with. And I can accept that now. It’s a huge step for me to recognise that. If I were the me in the past, I might just end up not going forward. But I think I can accept myself a little better now.

And for the first time, I believe myself when I say I think I’m going to be okay.

Before I know it, baby steps away from the big dark cloud became a big stride forward. So please let me continue to stay strong.

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