I’ve been thinking about the nature of goodbyes recently. We, as humans, change so much and so often the shedding of one’s old skin is inevitable. And yet I find myself wallowing in nostalgia over the person I was years ago: a little bit more hopeful, just as romantic, wide-eyed and ready to take on the world.
The truth is, I have always been terrible at saying goodbye because something in me wants the good moments to last forever: that first love where everything feels so new and so important, that idyllic summer spent lazing around by the pool and riding your old, dirty bike until the mosquitos forced you inside. And I am terrible at accepting that things come and go, and change is a good thing, and that you cannot head into the new without leaving behind the old. The dozens of guys I have ghosted over the years, the friendships I just let slip from my fingers without so much as a word, the boxes upon boxes of trinkets and beat up journals I refuse to throw away and so I carry with me every time I move to a new place: all symptoms of a larger problem.
And as excited as I am to see what the future holds, I will always go back to those memories like a child looking at old photos of her parents when they were young: a little bit curious, a little bit surprised, forever in awe. So, glass of wine in hand, I raise a toast to goodbyes: the ones that felt like they took a piece of you with them; the ones that you thought were going to destroy you but in reality slipped off your lips as painlessly as water dripping from your hands; the wordless goodbyes; the goodbyes that you poured into your journals because otherwise they were going to consume you whole; the goodbyes you are yet to utter; the goodbyes you said without even realizing it, because it was due time.
I toast to goodbyes because without them, we would not have any Hello’s waiting for us around the corner.