Before you start panicking, I’m not saying goodbye to blogging!
I’m moving this week from the first and only home I’ve had in Nashville, and it’s got me thinking a lot about goodbyes.
I’ve never been a fan of goodbyes, and unfortunately, I’ve had to say a lot of them in 2019. Some of them were harder than others, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say all of them were hard and still affecting me in some way or another today. The grief of a goodbye hits us at odd times — when we least expect it and definitely feel like we should be over it — but grief over a relationship, friendship, or death never truly leaves us. These goodbyes have been hard, but they’ve also taught me deep, life-changing lessons.
2019, even though it’s barely half-over, has been a huge year of growth, acceptance, and understanding for me, so I’m here to share just a few lessons from the goodbyes I’ve faced in this year alone.
1. You learn what’s been inside of you the whole time.
I said goodbye to a friendship that had seen me through some of my toughest times in the last few years. I’m not going to get into details, but this friend and I parted ways not so amicably, and in those fights and tears I learned a lot about leaning on myself. For five years, I had them to lean on when times were tough — when I didn’t know which was up and which way was down — and without them in my life, I really had to look inside myself for that strength. And, surprise, I found it. It was hidden underneath a lot of layers of dependency, but I found it eventually, and I’m the better for it. It’s great to have people to lean on, but there’s nothing more empowering that understanding your inner strength.
2. You start saying “yes.”
I talked a little bit about this in regards to losing my grandma earlier this year, but it’s true for some of the other goodbyes I’ve had to say as well. When it comes to my grandma, I started saying “yes” because I knew she would have wanted me to live a life I’m proud of — she would have wanted me to take advantage of every opportunity that came my way, and I still am. But, I also started saying “yes” because there wasn’t anything holding me back anymore. When you say goodbye to toxic people, you feel like you can breathe again. You can explore what makes you “you” without any restraint — whether that restraint was internal or external. Saying goodbye might sometimes mean saying “yes.”
3. You open yourself up to new experiences.
I fell in love with my life in these last six months. Don’t get me wrong, it was a little rough there for a while after losing my grandma, but if I’m telling the truth, she helped me see everything life has to offer. Despite the fact that she lived a very long life (93 years on this Earth and you see some things, let me tell you), losing her was a reminder that life really is short, and you have to make every day worth it. So, try new things, experience the shit out of life. Figure out what you like, what you don’t like, who you like, who you can do without, and everything in between. Say yes to kayaking on the river and reading a book in the park. Go on that date you’ve been putting off for forever. Just go and live. That’s what life is for.
Goodbyes are scary. Goodbyes are hard. You never expect them to be good, but look back on those goodbyes in three months, six months, a year, and you’ll see everything that goodbye led you to. Maybe you found your best friend because of it, or a new hobby, or a new place to live. Maybe, just maybe, you found your life in that goodbye.