Saying goodbye has always been, and still is, one of the hardest things for me to do.
I really hate goodbyes of any sort, from casual ones to more formal ones. I’m not good at them—if saying goodbye can be classified as a skill and I think, in some ways, it can be. I always wondered why “good” is in there; what the hell is good about saying goodbye? To me, it has always symbolized the end of something—a relationship, a family gathering, a party, a lease.
And endings, in my view, have always been bad.
Endings make me cry. Goodbyes make me cry.
Rewind 19 years ago to visiting day at sleep away camp. I cried for five hours after my parents left. And just letting them leave was a battle.
But maybe there can be good things found in a goodbye.
Maybe what is ending wasn’t meant to continue. Nothing does last forever anyway. But prolonging and dragging things out, even things that are not benefiting me, has always been my forte. What I would like to get better at is embracing goodbyes as they come and people as they go. I would like to be wise enough to recognize when a chapter in my life story is over and I would like to be strong enough to turn the page of the book without falling apart in the process.
I will say goodbye to someone this week, who is moving across the country, and I’m trying to find the good in this one.
Despite feeling a heavy sadness and shedding many tears over this impending goodbye, I think there are many good things about this. It’s hard to look at a relationship, and your role in it, honestly, and admit that it wasn’t right when you invested so much of your time and energy in making it work.
This goodbye will most likely mark the end of any relationship I have with this person. I’m not sure that remaining friends ever works and time and distance are not on our side.
The good in this goodbye is that I will be able to move on completely and start a new chapter of my book.
I will hold onto the memories and a part of me will always care about him and the chapter of my life that he was in, but I know in order for me to move on, I will need to let him go; his moving is the best thing that could have happened. Distance, in this respect, is in my favor. How could it ever have a chance to be right since he is leaving?
The hope I had been holding onto can now be used more efficiently.
I am putting my faith in the idea that when something you thought was good leaves your life, it is only because something better is about to arrive. This goodbye will hopefully lead to a better hello.
Do endings always have to have a negative connotation?
If you asked me this five years ago, I would have said yes. I would have said that it meant you failed at something; you couldn’t make it last, you were not successful or determined enough and that meant you lost. You lost the boy, the job, the apartment, etc.
But today, I don’t think that’s true.
My answer has changed because I’ve experienced first hand the magic that can occur when you let yourself let go and when you accept the ending for all that it is. It feels painful and shitty while you’re going through it, but when you come out on the other side of the long dark tunnel—there is light.
I truly believe that endings do lead to beginnings.
They have to. It still takes me a while to let go, to accept that something is over, to move on and to be okay. But with each ending, you get stronger, and with this most recent relationship, I have gained more strength and self awareness than I thought possible. This most recent experience, I think, has given me the ability to know, in the future, when an ending is necessary so that a new beginning can come.
It has allowed me to learn how to say goodbye so that I can say hello.
I am a 30-year-old single woman in between cities, currently residing in Princeton, NJ. Having just moved from Philadelphia, PA last week, my next home will be NYC, where I am also embarking on a new career in the world of fashion, writing and social media strategy. After receiving 2 masters degrees in counseling and psychology and a certification in school counseling, I realized that life is too short to stay stuck in a career that wasn’t making me happy. My passion is, and always has been, writing. I left a field I knew and am chasing my dreams. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I am about 100 miles outside of my comfort zone and loving it. I’m just a girl writing her story one day at a time, learning, loving, living and hopefully inspiring someone along the way.
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