I’m good at goodbyes.
And I should be, I’ve been saying them regularly since I was eight years old. When my parents divorced and we began the shuffle back and forth between houses. Saying goodbye to someone I loved became a normal weekly thing.
I remember when I was leaving for college with my high school boyfriend. Truck loaded, car packed, everyone all misty-eyed and lingering longer than was necessary… except for me. I was ready to go.
I also remember when I quit one of my first jobs after college. The day was over, the files were organized, and my boss had just given me a sweet little gift. Everyone huddled around and lingering longer than was necessary… except for me. I was ready to go. “See you soon!” I said as I walked out waving.
Yep, I’m good at goodbyes.
For the most part…
Once there was a time I had to say goodbye to someone I loved with my whole heart. To a life and future that spoke to me on a deep level.
It was one of the hardest things I had to face.
I wanted to linger. I wasn’t ready to leave.
But letting go was the only thing that remained.
We all have those goodbyes, don’t we? The ones we wish we could take back, that we wish never happened. The ones that are hard to reconcile inside our hearts. Yet even though we feel the mess of emotions, we know we did the right thing. We know that it was a necessary goodbye and will ultimately reveal itself as one of the best decisions of our lives. But we still linger longer than is necessary inside the loss. Wondering… what if?
Some goodbyes are harder than others.
Until we realize that all goodbyes lead to hellos.
Hello to new adventures and experiences.
Hello to new possibilities and opportunities.
Hello to new connections and deeper bonds.
Hello to new love, new plans, new levels of depth.
Hello to a happiness we’ve never known.
Hello to the parts of ourselves we had to tuck away.
Hello to a whole new life, more amazing than before.
When I was younger, I knew this well. I knew that saying goodbye to people, places, and experiences was opening me to something new. I knew that I was onto bigger and better things. That life was always going to ask me to say goodbye, so I might as well learn to roll with it rather than lingering longer than is necessary.
Saying goodbye is unavoidable on the journeys we walk. Loss will take people from us, breaking our hearts and leaving gaping voids in our life. Opportunities will go unfulfilled and some dreams remain unrealized. Failure is inevitable. Even the great parts of life require goodbyes… new opportunities call us away from places safe and know. New adventures require letting go of comfort and routine. New levels of growth ask us to step out of all that’s familiar.
The sooner we can embrace the hello and release our attachment to what we’re being asked to say goodbye to, the happier we’ll be. The more we’ll grow. And the more aligned our life will become.
I’m not saying it’s easy.
Goodbyes are hard. Loss is heartbreaking. And letting go of the life you thought you’d have… it’s gut wrenching at times. Allowing yourself to grieve and feel the challenging parts is hugely important and necessary to moving forward.
But just remember…
Every goodbye leads to a hello.
And those hellos? When we fully face forward and into them, they’re usually more amazing than the thing we had to leave behind.