Big news, I decided to move to Houston, I have a job already, I will be leading GED courses there in Houston and helping people to pass the GED exam. So it’s time to say goodbye to my many friends. Who doesn’t know how to say goodbye? It’s the polar opposite of hello; one of the first words that we learn as children. We don’t feel threatened by the feeling when we say goodbye to our parents at school because we know at 3:00 pm sharp, we are en route to say hello again. When do we make this shift of blissful ‘goodbye’ innocence to cognitive ‘goodbye’ awareness?
Somewhere along the line of our relationships that extend beyond family, we learn that goodbye doesn’t have any guarantees. We may or may not ever say hello to that person, that place or that thing again. Accepting this reality is perhaps one of the toughest things I am learning today.
My life is full of goodbyes. I started moving around the world when I was 14 years old. From that moment, I knew that every hello needed to be more passionate, more sincere, more welcoming. I would inevitably be leaving my friends, my new favorite city and my new life. This has been both a blessing and curse as I’ve grown older.
Being able to welcome and bid adieu to experiences made me the perfect candidate for change and new experiences. Adaptability is synonymous with my life and part of that is not attaching to things, places or people. On the flip side, as I grow older and create deeper roots, I am not as comfortable saying goodbye.
I said the first goodbye that didn’t have a guarantee this past week. It was one of the toughest things I have ever done. For the first time in my life, I was scared to even utter that word. I tried ‘see you later’ ‘ciao’ and any other way to say that word. I knew deep down in my heart, though, that I needed to face the fear and just say it.
This was a circumstantial goodbye, one that was well thought through and I have faith that it was the best choice. As I reflect back on the experience, I wonder if the reason I was scared shitless is because of the guarantee that the original ‘hello’ had in it.
Life offers us no guarantees, except that we and the things around us, will always change. The lesson in this is remembering that newness is challenging and scary but offers us the opportunity to grow.
I know now that just like I learned that a ‘hello’ has different faces, so does ‘goodbye’. I assumed that this word only had one meaning, but know that each goodbye from this point onward has a life of its own. My circumstances will dictate what kind of ‘goodbye’ I say. Some will be easier to say than others. At the end of the day, they are each an indicator of change…and that’s always a good thing.