There are those we care never to let go of. The people we want to stay in our lives forever because at one time they brought us such joy, calmed us down when we were upset — maybe on the verge of crying — or sat around doing nothing with us when no one else would. Some people are a part of our every day schedule and then it’s time for them to part ways. Change is good for us, but goodbyes are difficult for me.
Freshmen year of college we do our best to hold on to our high school friends. We travel home often and tell our old friends about wild night outs with our new friends. We skype old friends and share with them the Facebook profiles of this new crush from a Tuesday/Thursday class. Don’t worry though because by the time that friend comes to visit, we plan on dating this cutie. This all works to some extent because everyone is determined to keep those relationships. In sophomore year we see who really wants to maintain those relationships. We become engrossed in our new adult life. Same is true for those graduating college and moving to a new city for a job.
I learned to stop calling that friend I’ve called three times in the last week, because he or she hasn’t returned a phone call yet. The random Facebook wall posts of “hope you’re doing well” or “remember that time in 10th grade chemistry when…” fade because we see that Ashley’s new friend, John, is writing on her wall “You were hilarious in class today, new best friend!” That wall post has 10 comments on it and all Ashley did was ‘like’ your post. Instead we search for that person in our Monday/Wednesday class that we’ve been bonding with lately. This person seems to appreciate you. Every once in a while we still miss Ashley, but then we realize we didn’t truly know her. We lock away those memories and appreciate them for all the joy they gave us. Goodbye Ashley! Let’s catch up right before the 10 year reunion or if we move to the same city.
At work I had to say see you later to some of the people I’ve been sharing an office with over the last year. It was scary. I was the newbie when we all began and with them gone I would somehow be the oldest. Who would I run to when I have a question? But more importantly who would I say, “Remember that time last fall when. . .”
One by one they said their goodbyes to embark on a new journey. It was the end of a chapter we intimately shared together but the beauty is knowing each one is flipping the page to start a new chapter filled with new characters, new settings and new “remember whens.”
Change is hard. Change is sometimes unwanted. Even if with tears in our eyes or sadness in our hearts, change allows us to embark on exciting, new adventures. Goodbyes allow us to honor the journey thus far. Let’s you and I remember that when we consciously let someone go or hug others as they are off to make new memories.
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