Days until travel - 7
Saying goodbye is hard.
No, it's really hard.
I've done several now and it doesn't get any easier each time.
On Friday I had my last day at work. Sounds weird to say that I am no longer a reporter. Packing up my desk didn't feel real and even now, in my head, I'm just off for a week and will be back soon, moaning about downpage and deadlines.
But that won't be happening, because on Friday night I had my leaving do and said goodbye to so many people I'm going to miss. Friends who have become much more than just colleagues over the last four years.
Was very touched to receive a special gift of an underwater camera from the work lot and a special journal full of inspiring quotes from Grace. Two things I know will be well used and much cherished.
It got worse on Saturday - saying goodbye to two people I've become very close to recently, Ash and Jess. They barely knew me but took me under their wings when I was having a horrible time. Since then, I like to think I've cheered up a bit. And we've been friends who share happy times too.
Saying goodbye to them was horrible. There were a few drinks, a few words of goodbye, promises to stay in touch on Facebook etc and then lots of hugs and tears.
The horrible thing is knowing that I still have more goodbyes to do. This week is going to be emotional!!!!
But the one thing worse that saying goodbye?
NOT saying goodbye.
A friend really disappointed me on Friday when they sent a text. It said "hate goodbyes" and that was pretty much it. It came just before my leaving do for work.
Having survived the leaving speech from my boss (just) and put my make-up on ready to paint the town red one last time, with those two words I felt like I'd been shot.
Walking down Spring Bank to go to the pub, I was in floods of tears and sobbing uncontrollably. God knows that people thought as I was walked past.
I couldn't believe that someone I considered a great friend had done that.
I was so hurt and miserable, it really pulled me down for the whole night. And people remarked on it too. I was upset and angry and confused.
I've been reassured by friends that this person won't have realised they hurt me. But to be honest, I don't know if that is true. How could they not?
I am still around for a few more days, so I guess they might change their mind and decide to meet me, but I won't get my hopes up. Because if I do that, I'll be disappointed all over again.
Leaving behind the friends and family I love for a whole year is the most daunting thing I've ever done. But now it feels 100 times worse.
I hope this week gets better.