I have learned a lot about saying ‘goodbye’ in the last few weeks. It has never been something I was good at. I remember COUNTLESS tear-filled departures through the years, whether it was after being dropped off for a week of camp, spending the night with a friend, or driving off for college. I have been dreading the goodbyes of leaving my amazing co-workers and friends in Texas, and my family as I leave for Cambodia.
I always cry and I hate for people to see that vulnerable side of me. But as I went through all the ‘lasts’ in Texas and finally reached the day where I hugged everyone and stepped out of the office for the last time as the administrative assistant, I learned to embrace the tears and let them come. I learned to pause and take note of the last time I took the DART or enjoyed Saturday morning coffee with Lena, or hugged my pastor on a Sunday morning. Instead of giving in to a deep sense of grief, I learned to celebrate what those moments represented and the people that made them special. I learned that sometimes it is easier on me to check out emotionally and stop caring, to pull back. But that isn’t necessarily what others need from me. Goodbyes are not one-sided! I have long been selfish in feeling only my own pain in saying goodbye.
I will probably continue to shed tears when I give those goodbye hugs, but I am learning to look beyond myself to all that God has given me and to celebrate those gifts even as the tears fall down.