I wonder why I cannot find the perfect words when I say goodbye to someone I will miss. There and then in that last moment before we start walking the opposite way, why do such simple words cause difficulty like I love you or I am proud of you for what you are doing every day. The million things in you that you never notice but it hits me with inspiration and fills up our friendship with meaning.
I say I don’t want to say goodbye to you because I will be waiting for the day when I see you again. And you say, you don’t want to say goodbye to me because we won’t remember how tightly we hugged each other and how deeply we sighed on each other’s shoulders but we will remember the moments of joy that we shared. Because every time we meet is another conversation that helps us carry forward and another story that tie us together.
You might think I have chosen the easier way. That my mind is restless and it always wonders to the next thing and the next thing and my legs rush to a different place all the time and I cannot stop and settle. You might think my heart goes on to the next person in the next city and then moves on again with ease.
But don’t think this is easy for me. When I stand in front of you and I struggle to say the right words, when I cannot tell you if I see you again for another year, I am brittle and I try to stay strong so that I don’t ruin the moment with tears that have no place in our perfect farewell.
You asked me what am I running away from. I said, I am not running away but I am running towards something bigger that would fill my heart with feelings that are hard to be put into words without losing their power. I am running towards the unknown that would leave me speechless and towards the stories that wait to be heard from people who never knew just how incredible they are.
Yes, I refuse to settle for memories that fade easily in my mind and the world that is familiar to me. As long as I am moving I am always reminded that I am still breathing, I am still alive, and I let this new and strange world sink in and bring me unexpected stories which I could have never dreamed about from the comfortable bed I lie in every night until infinity. We don’t know how long we last on this Earth. And as I look at you while you ask me why am I running away again I know that you want to run away with me if only you wouldn’t be kept here by fear or belonging.
Perhaps, one day I tell you I can’t come to your wedding. I’ll miss your best moments on stage and the baby you hold in your arms might not remember me by the time I return. I won’t hold your hand when your heart breaks and you have to settle for my distant words that fail to paint the real picture of the side of my life you have never seen.
The heart of a traveller might appear unfaithful. It might seem to belong to the world and so it cannot be completely yours. But if you see me again you will know how faithful I am to you as I spend my few volatile moments in your city next to you, and only you, and I will carry your words, smiles and doubts with me everywhere I go.
We don’t know how long we exist on this Earth and my heart fears to return to a city where I call a person who won’t answer the phone anymore. But I will freeze the time until I can in our moments of goodbyes and if those are our last words then those will be the most beautiful last words two loving hearts could ever tell each other. And if they are not, then I will always return to you and pick up the conversation from the very words we left off and it will feel like we have never said goodbye to each other.
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