Some Good Things Never Last. A Bittersweet Goodbye

Friendship is not measured how long you've known each other, it's on how you stay connected after you parted (and despite the distance). Friends never say goodbye, they'll only say "keep in touch and see you soon".

Photo credit: Ozet Gasta

And so the final curtain had fell down.

The moment we have anticipated for the last months finally came. It was a bit surreal. As though the world had temporarily tilted. As crazy as those moments when you are still a kid and you leave home for the first time and go to school, there was a terrible feeling of separation anxiety lurking behind the ribcage. There was a pinch somewhere in the center of the chest. Whatever it was.

Yeah! It's still a surprising phenomenon how we became extra attached to the people in the workplace. And in the routine we used to do. It's beyond descriptions.

Most of us had been working for ages and we know separation from colleagues whom we had a great bond is always difficult. Because the magnitude of establishing a deep connection with them is always different. They're our extended family and we see them regularly than our siblings. So when time comes to part ways, emotions can be too surreal.

I figured, perhaps it's the kind of connection we've with them that becomes a defining moment how we will treat the separation. When things become lighter in the routine, we get cozy with everyone and everything. Days become happier and colleagues become our extended family. Relationship eventually becomes sweeter and you would not want it to end. You just want it to hold in your palm and watch it grow.

But some good things never last. Nothing is constant in this world except change. So we need to accept it and be grateful that the encounter happened. That time gave us an opportunity to meet the people we got to be attached with. We should just be grateful that the opportunity took place.

Things happened for a reason, even meeting friends. We met people not by chance but by purpose. It could either lessons to be learned or blessings to live by. Either way, and whatever that purpose, we know friends always add value into our lives, and one way or another, taught us lessons to live by.

I have been to different companies,  and on two different fields (Academe, BPO) since out of college and in all those instances that I left the workplace, the feeling was always surreal. When I left my job in the university there was a pinch of pain in the heart. So I didn't have any funfare goodbyes to colleagues. In fact, I didn't report on my last day of work to avoid getting emotional.

Ahh women! 🙄

Working in the school has been great. It was my comfort zone. Everything was so nice, from the admin, to my boss, down to my colleagues. The working environment was so peaceful. But I decided to leave after I got my master's degree to explore opportunities for growth and broadened my work experience.

I joined the BPO industry after then, a strange place for me due to its totally different culture from the academe. My very conservative approach in life and my timid character were put into real test. But after a year of struggling to fit in, I became well adjusted to the system.

But things were about to change.

Well, when you're working in a fast-changing, highly diversified environment like BPO, with a culture of constant movement, "change" sounded like a crazy fashion. And you need to expect some insane surprises on role assignments to take place.

At first, I find this arrangement bloody odd and frustratingly awful because of the massive adjustment one needed to do. The element of surprise is hardly romantic. One day you're with the people you normally see everyday, the next day you will be seated next to a total stranger, doing a strange process. Then you feel like starting all over again.

The management might never understand it but "constant movement" really takes a huge toll on the employee's self-esteem and mental condition. We are inherently humans who desire comfort in the workplace.

It's not that we refused to adopt change or just want a sedentary, redundant routine and don't want to learn other skills but forcing us to move to another zone is always catastrophic, mentally. Felt like we were outdated machines needed to be thrown out.

For a moment, I thought my life was a big joke because it seems I couldn't get what I always wanted. It felt like I'm always starting at the bottom of everything. It was as if my fate was a total mess, a complete  disappointment.

But constant change has been part of the culture of the project I am in and since quitting sounded like a crazy idea at that time, I held my ground. And wished upon the scattered stars in the sky that hopefully there is incredible reasons why things needed to occur.

When disappointment hits the horizon of our career, it's either we will see the sequence of events as a curse or we will see goodness in it. And just acknowledged things as they are. The thin line that draws the difference anyway is always acceptance.

Breakfast at Bigoli
Photo credit: Joliver Satira

Weeks, months after the movement, I got to accept my fate and went through the day, trying to see some golden rays of positivity filtering across the wall of my day-to-day life in the new function. Luckily, it did filter. And able to see the beautiful rays that brightened my mundane days.

 Hopefully, the bond will last a lifetime
Photo credit: Mikko Nichiguchi
 Photo credit: Aira Agbayani

In an unexpected turn of events, I felt ultra comfortable with everything in the workplace as weeks went on. Like there was a whole new level of energy pumping around and a bubble of excitement bursting up in my horizon. It helped me see the other side of a work life, a totally different world in a care-free environment, with the people who are fun to be with.

Thanks to our numerous food trip!
Photo credit: Nikki Bayona
Photo credit: Mikko

I got to work with the people who are incredibly awesome, who are still at the prime of their youth, treating days in the workplace as though they're just having the best of their lives, making everything so light and stress-free. There was a whole new level of joy, an incredible bonding, something that brought so much excitement to the routine.

Eventually, I understood why things happened. Why I needed to be moved to another role. To take my life to another turn. To meet these incredible people who have orbited on the same wavelength as mine.

With them I found new ways to get rid of boring days in the workplace.  I was able to balance my perception in life towards relating. And able to join with the boys over a conversation and got acquainted with their world. Something that rarely happened because I was never close to men before.

So comfortable with them around

I made a lot of friends (hopefully they felt the same 😂😆) who see the goodness in me, appreciated who I am and recognized my value. I was able to see the other side of life, something I have missed when I was still working in the academe.

Having fun outdoors

I learned how to deal with different types of people from different background. To date it was my first time to be exposed to a large team, directly working with a big group in one room. Back in the university, I was just alone in my desk, in a spacious room with plenty of shelves. It was a formal office environment. No one to talk to unless I would go to the office of my boss or to the faculty room.

When I joined the BPO I was a bit shock with the arrangement. It's one of the many adjustments I had to undergo in my first year. It went well though. The strange arrangement had provided me an opportunity to get to know other people directly while working.

And so with these new friends, I was able to find my balance and began to look at life in a brighter shade. As though I was just starting to live and enjoying my freedom. And discover myself in a more vivid perspective. With them everything was  so incredibly comfortable and relax and fun. Days were smoother and routine was lighter.

I had so much fun with them around. Sometimes talking stuff that didn't matter in the long run, just for fun and let boring hours passed.  It was a pure bliss, a way to enjoy life while working. I was able to join them outside the workplace and enjoy the outdoor or whatever life is offering at the moment. I had countless food trips with them. We just clicked on many things. Each day was a blessing, relishing the moment in an uncomplicated routine, as though the world was perfectly aligned.

But as with most wonderful things in this world, nothing lasts forever no matter how hard we wanted it to last. Early on, we knew we would part ways someday. We were only there for a temporary purpose. That day finally came.

And so things must come to an end. 😢😩

As time edges towards the date of our separation, there was a mix of emotion.  I felt like leaving home again. Yes, leaving home like a scared child going to her first day of school. But the saddest thing, I would never return to the same home again. Never to the same people again. Never to the same seatmates again. That's why there was a kick in the gut. The deep connection I built with the people I got to be closed with would be temporarily halted. Once again, fate took another turn. And for a moment I thought life made another prank.

"Change" eventually takes to a whole new meaning. But it's a kind of change that must be accepted. It's the new "normal".  So I just accepted what is being there and just be very grateful that the encounter happened. That time allowed my fate to collide with these people to expand my tight circle of friends and broadened my horizon and learned massively. I had so much fun while working with them. I would keep the memories and the beautiful friendship.

Someday, I would meet other people, but my connection with the FRP folks remained the most special. It was with them that I started picking up the momentum in life. And really enjoyed the working days. They taught me one of my most important lessons in employment -  it is never odd to enjoy moments in the workplace.

We could no longer bring back those golden days of laughter and fun and moments we used to share in the same room, in the same level of excitement as an intact team. But we could look back at those happy days with gratefulness that at least it happened. That circumstances provided us a chance to meet and know each other.

Although we can still meet somewhere, things are no longer the same. That's why it was the hardest goodbye and a bittersweet one.

Our last day with the team
Photo credit: Ozet Gasta from Alyssa Meude's post

My last day with Reyn, Aya, Ozet, Otep, Carlo, Alyssa, John and Kim, our team lead, was a lighter one and hardly sentimental (we didn't shed tears thank God 😅) perhaps because we already accepted the fact that time has already come to part ways. That it was time to separate. And there's nothing we can do about it. So there was no hardcore emotional goodbye.

 No so much funfare just a pure bliss

Kim just wished us good luck, the boys were on their usual form. Teasing and laughing, making fun, trying to make things easier. And we were on our usual work routine, pressing our nose hard on the overflowing workload.

It was like a normal day. No agreement to hold a banquet or to feast on food, we didn't even care to agree for a lunchout. We just treated it as one of those Saturdays in our work life. No funfare of searing emotions. But deep inside of course there was a kick in the gut.

Personally, I knew it was a bit hard to say goodbye to colleagues we used to be with, we used to see everyday and spent most of the time in a day with. There was a slight pinch in the heart. But we carried on.

              Pizza treat from our TL, Kim

Kim already treated us to Bigoli days before so it was a bit too much to ask for another one. But towards 9:00 in the morning, she let the boys bought two layers of pizza. And we added a bowl of ice cream. It was as simple as that. No huge parting celebration. But a memorable one. We did enjoy the last remaining hours together. We'd plenty of laughter and teasing and taking mementos.

 Dinner at the Uptown Food Hall
                Photo credit: Reyn Tabuzo

We will see each other again. Perhaps yes. That's why things were lighter during our last day together. Connection with people never ceased even when we go on separate lives. It will endure with the passing of time.

After our shift, we left the building like the past days but that time we knew it was different. We won't be back. We will be heading to a different location starting next week. It was surreal to think. But we managed to keep emotions at bay.

Reyn, Aya and I went to Uptown in BGC to take a peek how the new "home" looks like. And to spend dinner together for the last time. There was a moment of interlude. A silent moment of reflection in my part. I am not really good in goodbyes. But I held my emotions. And went on with our conversation.

Someday, when things going rough in the workplace, we know we have each other to count on to make things brighter and smoother.  Friendships established in the workplace are always the purest. It could last a lifetime.

Special thanks to our leads who helped us get through the days: Kim Ortega, Roel Chacon and Joanna Portales. Thank you for taking us under your wings. There might be misunderstanding along the way and the sailing wasn't a smooth one but it provided us a good ground to discover our strength. And enough room for growth and improvement.

Personally, I learned a lot from this experience. And gained so many friends. With it, I am very grateful. I've plenty of reasons to be thankful. Life indeed is generous. It often allows us to explore moments that make us happy in a way we never expected. For once I believed that indeed, things happen for a reason. And it's always for the best.

Thank you! Until we meet again. 😊🤗

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