I have been going through an awful season of goodbyes caused by people leaving to go back to their hometowns, and it may just leave me kind of mental. Being away from my lifelong friends and family is also not contributing to my sanity, so I decided to explore this feeling that bothers me so much, but yet seems to not be so awful for others.
That’s when I realized I have always been the worst at goodbyes – the overwhelming sense of weakness and loss I feel when a part of my life ends. Leaving people behind or being left behind is what makes me want to instantly vanish to a point in the future where I no longer have that huge hole in my chest. But I also realized it doesn’t have to be like that. Changes don’t necessarily mean that those relationships have to be over.
I used to think that after growing up (whatever that means), these things were going to get easier, but they seem to get more dreadful each time. Why? I think it is because, as I get older I realize more and more that people fade away from my life as easy as they walked in.
The friends forever, I will always love you, and I will never forget you promises I made to people when I was 10, 15 or even 20 have literally disappeared from my mind, and what is worse, from my heart. I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did. When I was younger, I seriously thought the people I had around were going to be with me for the rest of my life. As they say, ignorance is bliss. Well, now I know that kind of magic just doesn’t exist. It was really easy, and I mean extremely simple, to lose these people that a million moons ago meant the world to me.
I lost people that I wish I was still close to and at times I have also kept people close that I shouldn’t have (we all have a few of those). I guess that is part of life, but what I have learned with time is that, if you want to keep someone in your life, you need to make it happen. Period.
You need to feed love into relationships, yet any kind of love is not enough. It never has been and it never will be, no matter how much I wish it was.
All relationships, especially friendships, require work. And even more work when you are thousands of miles apart. I can’t remember the amount of times I have said I was going to call and I didn’t; the times I missed someone, but ‘didn’t have the time’ to get together; the times I let people go because it was easier than going the extra mile. These are thoughts and actions that I now regard as foolish, because what actually makes me happy and grateful in life are the people I share it with. The rest of things are just complements, pieces, highs and rushes, even highlights in life, but at the end of the day they can’t hug you when you get home or call you when you are having a crappy day.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know not everyone is supposed to be in my or your life forever. Just as there are meaningful relationships, there are also trivial ones. Some people are going to be great for a moment, others for a lifetime, others just pass through your life to teach you something or because they need to learn something from you, some people need to stay away from you for your own benefit and others you have to let go just because.
But the good ones, the people that challenge you to grow, that make you laugh until your stomach hurts, the ones that have confidence in you even when you don’t feel capable of getting out of bed in the morning, the people that never judge you and are there even when you don’t think you need them… The ones that make you glad to be alive, it’s those you need to keep close, no matter what.
I know who they are for me; you know who they are for you. I would love to have a guarantee that the whole growing-up-thing will not mess those relationships up, but since I don’t, I sure as hell will at least try because when I am old, I want to look back and find a lifetime of love. Isn’t that why we are alive after all?
In conclusion, I guess having those ‘weakening’ moments, even though they’re not great (which is an understatement), is actually pretty amazing because it means I had the privilege of knowing these people, and filling my life with even more love than I ever imagined possible, and the privilege of living up to the promises I make along the way. Oh and also, the reunions will be freaking amazing!
As Miriam Adeney said… “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
Originally published in www.thriveglobal.com
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