I guess no one really loves good-byes, and me, yeah, I hate 'em. And now I'm coming full force with their obtrusive reality as my departure ticks steadily closer. I am, to say the least, emotionally overwhelmed.
I've been trying to write about this for weeks, but I can't seem to force the words out. Another reason to hate good-byes. What is there to say, really? That I feel oxygen-deprived when I think of the experiences I won't share or the conversations I won't have or the people I won't see? That I feel a tightness in my chest when I think of the relational distance my physical distance will breed? That I feel like throwing up when I think of verbalizing the love I've felt?
Nope. It's no big deal. I won't see you for a while. So it goes.
Truthfully, I'm grieving. I know I can trust this misty future to a God who is infinite in faithfulness and goodness. No, it is not the uncharted water of new beginning that terrifies me. Instead it's the heart-rending end of so much I have held so dear. The end of after-school Ultimate games at Pine Hill Farm, the end of LOST marathons with Sarah, the end of Sunday morning giggle fests with the junior high girls, the end of weekend movie nights, the end of long drives home in the middle of the night, the end of the comfortable (oh, but numbing) routine I've carved for myself.
I am being dramatic, I know. A year away does not alter the fabric of my life. It is very possible, or even likely, that the things I leave will still be there when I get back. I'm young, but I've lived long enough to at least start to suspect that change is slow and subtle, not swift and severing. And that's yet another reason to hate good-byes: they imply a permanence that is not reality. Why must we bother with the farewells when most partings are really see-you-laters? If this is not the end, why do I have to get all worked up about it?
Because closure. Because punctuation. Because people deserve to know what they have meant to me. And I had better find some way to tell them. Just in case.