Goodbyes are tough. They sound so concrete, like “goodbye, thanks for the amazing memories, have a nice life, see you never”. How can someone come to terms with that?
Recently, I graduated from college and have been saying my fair share of goodbyes. And it sucks. It’s a hard reality to come to terms with because you’ve shared some of the best times of college life together and now, you never know when you’re going to see them again. Then, what about the people you see around, who aren’t your good friends, but who you still chat with when you see each other. What do you say to them the last time you see them? You both know that you probably won’t keep in touch, even with the best of intentions. Do you say the obvious: “Good luck with everything in the future and have a nice life?” Even though that seems like a logical thing to say, emotionally it sounds too cold and finite.
If you decide against a goodbye, then you have a see you later. Unlike goodbyes, they’re open for possibilities of potentially continuing the relationship in the future. You might not say everything you’ve wanted to say to them since, in your head, you are going to be seeing them again. But when you think about it, see you later’s are tough too. In the past, there are times that I’ve avoided saying goodbye to someone because I thought a see you later was more appropriate. We left with dreams of cross country visits dancing in our heads but once the plane landed and push came to shove, plans fell through and time passed. Now you’re stuck with wishing you gave them one last hug goodbye and maybe appreciated that last bit a time a little more. It’s a hard feeling realizing that you should have said a goodbye instead. So how do you depart from a relationship with someone?
It’s a sad and difficult realization that you must appreciate what you had in that relationship and not lament on its’ ending. This makes me question if it’s even worth investing yourself into a relationship, romantic or platonic, if you know that you’re going to be leaving in a week or a month. You’re stuck at a crossroads where the option of avoiding new relationships would, hands down, be much easier. It’d have much simpler emotions to deal with, less painful goodbyes, and probably less tears. The second road would require you to share yourself, stories, memories, and laughter or tears with someone, knowing full well that that might be all the time you get with that person. Not every relationship is meant to be forever and ever. Some people are only meant to come into our lives for a few hours or weeks or, if we’re really lucky, years.
After being put into this situation a few too many times, I decided it is totally, 100% worth it. Yes, it will be harder. But isn’t living passionately what it is all about? Why be mediocre when you have the power to be spectacular? To not, would be an insult to yourself and your time.
I don’t remember where I heard this tidbit of advice but it stuck with me… “Just because you know the song is going to end, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music.” This is a great mentality to have. There’s no reason to discredit the last bit of time you have somewhere because you might be scared that it’s going to be much harder to say goodbye later on. Those memories are worth it. They could be some of the best nights of your life with friends you just made. They’ll be stories that you look back on with fondness, not regret.
Personally, I would take new relationships, unforgettable memories, and harder goodbyes over an easier departure any day of the week.