The Art of Goodbye
Goodbyes are hardly ever easy, especially when you are leaving those you love. Saying goodbye to family, and friends you’ve known for decades, as well as those you’ve recently met but adore, is a challenge, brings up feelings of nostalgia, sadness, anxiety, emotions we see as not fun. You remind yourself it’s not forever, you will be coming back, though at this point you have no idea when. And maybe some of those friends will join you on your journey, meet up with you across the sea. You spend your time, in between sorting and storing and packing, racing around, trying to see each one, not wanting to miss spending time with anyone now, knowing how much you’ll miss them later.
And then there are things to say goodbye to, not nearly as hard as people, but that you know you will miss as well – a familiar bed and pillow each night, as you prepare to sleep in different places, possibly every few days, in unfamiliar towns around the world, stumbling in the dark in the middle of the night trying to find your way to an unfamiliar bathroom. Leaving your local grocery store or market, where you know exactly where your favorite products are, the ones that you can read the labels on as they’re all in English. Leaving your car that’s taken you all over the country for 10 years, knowing you may not be driving for months. and saying goodbye to your long term phone number. Leaving your books – you don’t have much left in the way of material things, but you’ve always had an addiction to books, and that bag of half a dozen you always lug around is just too heavy to take with you.
It’s a trade off, leaving so much behind, but what you gain in new sights and sounds, new tastes and new friends, and especially in self-knowledge, will surely be worth it, a journey of a lifetime!
“In the end, you will be so much richer, so much stronger, so much clearer, so much happier, and so much better a person that all the risk and hardship will seem like nothing compared to the knowledge and wisdom you will have gained.” Simple Truths by Kent Nerburn
And I have to admit, there’s one thing I’m not too awfully sorry to leave behind…goodbye winter!!