Goodbye has never been a word I have embraced.
I play Houdini at parties, simply disappearing by doing a runner out the door when no one is looking. Just because I don’t want to say goodbye.
My phone conversations finish with ‘ok, bye’ swallowed so quickly the listener can hardly fathom what’s been said and then wonder why they have been left with an engaged signal at the end of the line.
I’ll suggest lunch, dinner, coffee, catch up, whatever I can at the end of a meet up so that no goodbye needs be said in the understanding we’re seeing each other again soon. Even though I know the suggested lunch, dinner, coffee etc was just a decoy and may never come into fruition. It’s easier that way, or so I think.
For someone who craves connection I spend a lot of time avoiding it in my fear of goodbye.
Trouble is I’m leaving in just over a week to go overseas to Colorado on an extended writing sabbatical and the goodbyes have already started. The past weeks I can feel myself disconnecting, retreating to an internal place of quiet where I feel safe.
But this trip is not about ‘safe’. It is about being open, ready to inhale everything in front of me, ready to love and be loved, ready to dive right in to all that Colorado has to offer and take the good, the bad, the ugly and live a full, messy, complex, invigorated, fun life filled with JOY and most of all to step into my writing power because now feels so very right.
This trip is about going where it flows, not where it blocks. I am being led to Colorado and I must trust that I am exactly where I need to be right now. That all will work out because that which flows does and my path to Colorado has flowed thus far.
So this time, I vow to stay in the goodbye, no matter how hard it gets, and it will get hard. Especially when it is time to say adieu to my mother’s husband, my father, my parent left alive.
But the beauty of goodbye means there is always the chance again to say hello and who doesn’t love a bear hug, high five, beaming from ear to ear hello from someone you haven’t seen for a while? Who can honestly not glow when another is genuinely excited and pleased to see you?
Besides, hugs increase oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine and who am I to deny both of us a drug fix. I look forward to those hello hugs from my Colorado friends and I look forward to giving those myself when my Australian friends come to play.
You can’t have a hello without a goodbye. It’s the yin with the yang. The life and the death.
Goodbyes ultimately remind us that we are alone, a fact we spend our lives denying the same way we deny that we are all ultimately one anyway.
So, instead, I embrace this cycle wholeheartedly as I know these are far from my last goodbyes and every good bye means I had the pleasure of a hello and for that I am thankful.