It has begun. The beginnings of the goodbyes. In less than two weeks, I will wrap up what has been a pretty cool year and I will try to fight back the tears but lose that battle miserably as I say goodbye to people and places which have touched my heart and which are forever etched into my memory.

I will miss DC. I will miss sitting by the waterfront, deep in thought (or pretending to be deep in thought). I will miss the seasons, the bitter cold, the beautiful flowers, the scorching summer (which meant pool days) and the colorful fall (which meant unending squirrel sightings.)

I will miss being able to pick up a “El Tiempo Latino” from the newsstand and going to Spanish class. I will miss being in the capital during thick of the US presidential election cycle and the conversations that it generated. I will miss being a stone’s throw away from an activity or an international restaurant or the pool or anything you name it. I will miss coffee dates and the flurry of emails. (I will not miss the emphasis on what you do as a determinant of your worth.)

I will miss the fellows, the “surprise” birthday parties, the impromptu dance parties just waiting to happen at Channel Square, the ice cream stopovers, the smell of parathas, briyani and curry each evening, and knowing that there is always a friend a few meters away. When I injured my arm, fellows cooked for me, combed my hair, helped me to clean my room, and brought me goodies. I will miss my roommates, the teddybear and best hugger ever “Handsome Hamza”, the shampoo model with the perfect hair “Friendly Farhad”, my swimming partner the “Awesome Abida”, my dancing-in-the-rain buddy “Rockstar Rassel” and ice-cream-and-pancake-making former roomie Olga, who I will name one day soon.

I will miss my job, the research, the webinars, the technical writing, the conferences, the interactions with the National Offices and the opportunities to deepen my understanding of the issues and sectors. I will miss the incredibly brilliant, travelled, educated colleagues who challenged and channeled my talents so I would be better (and one day dream of being perceived as brilliant, travelled and educated by my own colleagues.)

Forget any effort to wait two weeks. The tears have already begun.

Goodbye 🙁

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