I don't know why, but I always wanted to do a goodbye speech. A goodbye to anything, as long as there's a goodbye speech, and simply because it sounds very important. Imagine the feeling, of you being able to address all of the people you've spent the last considerably marked time period with, recognizing their presence and their contributions, thanking them (or otherwise), making them feel some hint of regret that you'll no longer be with them - which is, you should admit, an effective way to make you look important, significant, perhaps indispensable.
Or maybe you really just want to thank people. But that happens if you've grown fond of some of them, else the goodbye speech becomes something that you do because you just love yourself more than anything else, and would do anything to portray, or fix, your reputation at this and that.
Yeah, I get that. I guess I'm still grappling with that pervasive feeling of being unappreciated, from the bottom of the ladder to the last person on the line, forgotten as everybody praises the purported next big thing. That would make this very, well, self-centered, and even if I know that will help me be euphoric, at least, for the next few hours, it's not something I really want. It's one of those ironies. You want the attention but you don't like the idea of unwarranted attention.
So, there's the other reason, which only makes sense if you've actually endeared yourself to your potential audience, which, in my case, is the back row with earmuffs and Conan O'Brien
's anti-spoiler technology. The problem, thus, with a lack of appreciation.
And then there's the other problem: goodbyes are almost always never planned. Some are anticipated, so there's reason to suit up, which explains why most employees cannot leave their desks for thirty days after they've filed their resignation. There's those surprises that happen because someone did something wrong. And then there's death, in which case you can never really deliver a goodbye speech unless you've left behind your will, and even then, you don't have any control of what happens next. You still die as that voyeur who kept tabs on your previous relationships, even if you're not capable enough to carry them out. Or something like that.
For us at the receiving end, there's that familiar mix. I'm sure they'll celebrate if I do, and they'll cry if one of them does. Same goes with me. It depends on what the departing one has done - either you've been very supportive, or you've been a boon to their existence, always looking with those dismissive glasses, and everything else that comes in between. So, you either feel empowered again, or you spin around in a daze, feeling the world has come to an end, and everything else.
(Like that one over there. Yes, you.)
Today was a weird day. Not the least, a very disengaging day, not after everything that happened in the first two hours, not after the realization that you're all but safe where you are, that everything's gone save for everything you wanted gone, and that you'll have to start again. And to think I started everything without any idea of what to expect, only to end up feeling, well, I don't know. Rattled? Surrounded? Defeated? Hopeless? Something, definitely, and not what you expected, if you consider what you said you'll do before. Things just do change, and sometimes you're nice enough to pitch in a word before you finally let go of it. Or, like the rest, just continue and not care.
Send my regards, then, to the boy from film school who didn't say a word. I thought I'd be the one to go first. But you, well, you probably don't know what you did. And I didn't expect it either. Not the least because of what everybody else said. Good luck, I suppose. And, most definitely, goodbye.
I'll go rattle myself back to complacency.