As many of my friends go off to college, the military, or wherever else their life may take them, I wanted to take a moment to share with them a bit of advice, or rather my feelings on the bittersweet moment that is saying goodbye to someone. Of course, no post would be complete without referencing something German, and I'd like to point out that the German word for goodbye is aufwiedersehen, which roughly translates to "until we see each other again". I think this is a better way of looking at goodbyes. In today's digital age, it is becoming increasingly easy to reconnect with old friends, be it through facebook, skype, or just sending an email or text asking how they have been doing.
Although goodbyes are often difficult, they also signal the beginning of something new, a chance to reinvent oneself and take advantage of a plethora of exciting opportunities. One blogger I follow captures the essence of this quite nicely in an email he recently sent out, and I'd like to share it all with you.
Here are some of Colin Wright's thoughts on goodbyes:
"Something I've learned about myself over the years is that I'm not great at goodbyes.
It's not that I find them difficult or onerous, but rather that I often fail to register them as being negative. Yes, we're approaching the end of something, which is consequential. But I generally spend more time thinking what I'm moving toward rather than what I'm leaving behind, which can conflict with the moroseness one is supposed to feel at such moments.
I've gotten better at explaining this to people so that they don't get the wrong impression. In my mind, this isn't 'goodbye' in the sense that we won't see each other anymore, but 'goodbye' in the sense of 'see you later.' We live in the future, we have astounding technologies that can move us around, help us communicate over vast distances, and allow us to share our lives across planetary hemispheres. Geographic distance doesn't really intimidate me, but I know that for some, such distances represent a radical and possibly negative adjustment to how things have been. For some, changes represent little more than endings.
I can understand that sentiment. But change needn't be a bad thing. A change in rhythm, in tenor, in daily habits, in what we're exposed to, in the work we do, in our relationship status, in the keys we have in our pocket and the space we return to each night—it needn't be daunting or debilitating. These changes are just as likely to be positive as negative. And the former is more likely, in fact, if we decide this newness is going to be positive regardless of what we find on the other side; if we decide to make the most of whatever comes next.
An established way of living and doing things is calming and comfortable. It's predictable, and it allows one's brain to chill the hell out for a time.
But shaking up that routine, those habits, creates a period of near-infinite opportunity. It's an in-flux quantum superstate that can land absolutely anywhere. If you no longer go about your day on autopilot, if you no longer assume certain cycles and milestones, you can do anything, any time. You can fix problems view new habits. You can take up new hobbies, do your work differently, spend more time with friends and family, or more time with yourself. Or both.
Endings are the opening act for new beginnings, and part of why they can be so stressful is that we're suddenly responsible for our future happiness in a way we haven't been for maybe a good, long while. During a period of relative predictability, maintaining our rituals and holding down the fort keeps us engaged and occupied. Moving away from that routine, we instead must exert ourselves by filtering through our countless options and figure out not just what our new lives will look like, but who we will be, next. We have to figure out what priorities will shape our environments, and if we have what it takes to accomplish what we think we might be able to get done...
...approached intentionally, with enthusiasm and care, our conclusions can serve as reintroductions. For us toward the world, unveiling a brand new self, but also the world toward us, reigniting a flame of curiosity and passion, rediscovering what it feels like not to know, but to enjoy finding out."
I hope that guest post inspired you to take advantage of all the opportunities coming your way this fall whether you are going to community college or will be travelling the world on a gap year.
I wish you all the best and can't wait to see all the amazing ways each of you will impact the world we live in.
Thank you my friends.
The photo is of some of my friends and I at a graduation party. Sorry I couldn't put up a picture with everyone but know that you are all in my heart.
like they would like their brains to end up in the tissue?
Honestly, for me it's unbelievable. Imagine sitting in the office. Quite a calm environment when BAM! you hear it. The horn blows. We are making a competition in the office among us expats to see who can take it to the end..In case you are wondering "to take what?" it's easy: to resist the urge of not feeling so sick that you will need the restroom.
I searched on the internet for a plausible explanation. Not any found by now.
Czechs blow their noses really loud and no matter where they are. Be it a public transport or a restaurant and this is not considered to be impolite. BUT..they say hello and goodbye. Aww that makes you feel so special doesn't it? It's more offensive to forget the goodbye part than to blow your nose like a trumpet in public. And then shake hands...
We did also a trial..let's see if we can make it. I thought my brain will explode. As much as I tried I felt like an elephant that had the trump made in a node. My momma taught me: blow one nostril, then the other..no noise. If you really have to do it in public, be discrete. It happens when I am at lunch or dinner to need a bit of cleaning but I do my best not to get noticed and get others disgusted. Still it could be considered even so, as being rude. Not for a Czech :).
Originally Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I wish I had taken a picture, but my mind was elsewhere.
The day started out like any other day. Well, not really. I switched shifts with someone at work, so that I was working earlier because we had dinner plans with friends. The one day that I work in the morning, I over sleep. We slept until 11:39, it's out of the ordinary for me to sleep that late and absolutely unheard of for Justin to sleep past 9 (at the VERY latest). I was supposed to be at work at 11:30. I rush to get there, making it at about noon. Not a good start to a not so good day.
The work day goes by, slow and boring. I stay late for the hostess after I get cut from serving. When I come home, something is different. I can't put my finger on what, but when I sit down with Cadence I start to cry. I compose myself, take a shower, and start to head to the grocery store for dinner supplies. Justin, and our good friend Anthony, pull up right as I'm pulling out. I, again, start to cry because I'm worried about our baby (even after the great week she's had, something is different. Something is wrong).