The tune haunts me as it plays it’s way through my mind.
It taunts me, “why do all good things come to an end, come to an end?” That old Nelly Furtado song.
Why does it seem that everything good and beautiful comes to an end?
I’ve asked this question a lot this year. As everything is changing and people are leaving, I’m being thrown into a new season of life whether I’m ready for it or not. Sometimes change happens so slowly, so gradually, that you hardly even notice things becoming different. But then, sometimes change happens so fast. And all of a sudden you feel like you’re thrust into something you don’t quite feel ready for. This is how I felt about graduating.
I wasn’t ready to leave, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I love my high school; with it’s carpeted floors stained with the footprints of all the people I had spent the last four years with and it’s concrete walls enclosing the countless memories of those years. After I walked across that stage in my blue gown and graduation cap, the tassel waving around my face, the last few weeks went by so fast. I remember blinking, and then all of a sudden, I found myself on the last day of school scribbling words into yearbooks- Knowing this was the final signing. And I was right there, trying somehow to capture all of the last four years and all I wanted to say to people about who they are and about their future, into one tiny paragraph in the corner of the page. That day was a celebration for most, but no, not for me. I was close to tears that day, as I was forced to say far too many goodbyes knowing that no matter what I wrote or they wrote about keeping in touch or “hanging out,” I really wouldn’t see most of these people again.
I wonder why I find it such a harsh reality. I think it is because the saying goodbye – the moving on from a place you have invested so much of your heart in and have come to cherish and love – that seems to be the way of life.
We go wonderful places, experiences marvellous things, meet beautiful people and then we have to leave. Maybe we go to camp for the summer or to Europe to travel or work at Starbucks for a year or attend University for four years or live in this house or spend 10 years volunteering at a orphanage or spend one blissful summer day at the lake. No matter what it is, one day, just like that, we will leave these things behind and move on to something else.
Its hard because I know that this is something that will never change. When I think of the future, where I might go and who I might meet, I know I’ll have to say more goodbyes. The more I do and the more I invest, the more I have to leave behind.
In some moments I so desperately wish I could freeze the world, and stay exactly where I am and keep everything exactly how it is. I wish I could stay there for as long as I would like, until I am finally ready to move on. Why does it so often feel like we are ripped away from something, taken away before we are ready to leave?
As I’ve been thinking about all of this, I came across a post from one of my favorite blogs out there (thewildlove). What I came across was this:
I think that’s the way of the world, the way that I have trouble with – that what we cherish we must somehow release.
I remembered that the act of holding is, must be, an act of release.
It really is the way of the world. But I will tell you something I have come to find- I’ll stand firm, look you in the eye, and I tell you with vibrant honesty – that I am glad that it is hard. I have learned to be okay, even be grateful for the tough goodbyes. The hard indicates so much to the beautiful truth: that I have loved deeply that which I tearfully say goodbye to. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I aspire to be blessed enough to go somewhere, to do things, to meet people, that break my heart to leave.
Reading my own words, it does sounds a little backwards. But oh it is true. I believe it’s one of the most difficult parts of life: the loving and the letting go. But I have been learning that we can not live in a place where we live desperate to try and hold on to things of the past. If we attempt to hold people too close or cling too much to what has past, we forget to live in the now.
As much as I dread the leaving, the hard goodbyes – I want to be someone who invests in people, who pours out her heart to each place she goes. I want to be someone who keeps giving and loving, even if when she does it will make the eventual goodbye more painful. To love enough that the goodbye hurts- that is something to treasure.