Today, one of my co-workers is leaving.
As easy as it reads, it is quite the opposite in reality. It may sound even more absurd to you that we’ve been colleagues for nearly 3 weeks! But for me, bidding goodbye is never easy, especially to someone you are on good terms with and yet you have no idea when you will see each other again.
What can you actually know about a person in the course of 3 weeks at work, anyway?
Well, I know him as much as he knows me when he “mistakenly” took me for a Thai after more than 2 weeks working together and my uncountable attempts to teach him how to say “I am Finnish” in Vietnamese! I also know he has a sweet tooth and he probably thinks of me as one of those rare generous candy sponsors who randomly sits next to him at work. I know I can call him names without worrying about him getting offended (and I hope that so far he can tell this only works one way!). I know that he is an easygoing character with an odd sense of humor but also someone who is funky, willing to help others and eager to learn new things.
Three weeks is superficially short to put a “friend”-label on everyone that crossed my path, even if it’s someone who laughs unquestionably at my stupid jokes because they seem funny to them rather than stupid. However, I know for sure that the last 3 weeks in his company is already long enough for me to steer him out of the acquaintance-zone. And even though he may forget my name by the time he sets foot in the elevator to head home, I will always give him credits for being part of the greatest time I had in this office.
Needless to say, I am going to miss him a lot, because everyone else knows they are too!
After his farewell party in the afternoon, things will go on as usual. It shouldn’t be a big deal, should it? I will get back to work then go home to join one of my lovely homies’ packing for her move this weekend. And before I know it, the following month there will be another move out of the other flatmate. Then I can start the whole meet-part cycle all over again with “brand new people”. If everything goes smoothly, I may have a bunch of fairwell parties to celebrate in 3 weeks. How exciting!
I am trying not to sound dramatic here as I know that somewhere out there, people are facing much more tearful departures than the one I am writing about and that just makes this article unworthy. I just happened to know these people pretty much the same amount of time and the same way I got to know my aforementioned co-worker. Not profoundly enough to claim friendship but far more soul-matching than most of the people I have known for years. It bothers me so much that we have gotten this far yet can’t walk the road together a bit further.
Maybe it’s time to realize that not everyone who comes into my life will stay. No matter how well you get along with them, they will have to leave eventually. Maybe their missions are fulfilled. Maybe their time with you is up. Maybe this is how life teaches me that parting from someone is just as thrilling, refreshing and jittery as getting to know someone else.