When I left London seven months ago I wasn’t interested in saying goodbye to friends. I knew they’d still be here, we’d have other opportunities to socialise and I was far more interested in the prospect of a better life elsewhere.
Last night I went to leaving drinks in London for a friend who was leaving for good and returning to her life in South Africa. Gwyn and I have worked together for two years and during that time she has been a massive influence on my life. It was Gwyn who introduced me to the My Fitness Pal app through which I became more aware of what I was eating and began to eat to fuel my body. From there I started doing more exercise and went from being the person that used to dread school sports days to someone who regularly wakes up early on a Saturday to do Parkrun, a weekly organised 5k route through the local park. There’s a 10k race through my home town on my birthday next year and I plan to do that even though I’ve never run that far before and the thought of doing it scares me a little. I wouldn’t be doing any of those things if it weren’t for Gwyn.
Last night’s drinks were an emotional event as Gwyn said goodbye to her friends and her life here in the UK. Throughout my life I have said goodbye to great friends from all over the world but it’s never that sad for me because I never believe that I won’t see them again. Thanks to social media, over the past ten years I’ve managed to keep up with all of them. Friends whose faces I used to see every day and who were a huge part of shaping the person I am today. When those friends message me on Facebook or call me on Christmas day my heart skips and my mind is transported to the time and place where we shared our lives. When we do meet, which happens more often than I could have imagined when we said our goodbyes, it’s like we’ve never been apart. Gwyn is one of those friends now. Last night’s goodbyes were really adieu.