Thursday, December 4, 2008
Saying goodbye is a really hard thing. We all know that on a cognitive level, but much like childbirth (or so I'm told), we forget over time. We forget the pain...and the sadness and the gut wrenching feelings that come with the last hug. We want to cry, to somehow externalize the sadness that lurks behind every "last"...but sometimes the tears just won't come. As I walk through the next 25 days leading up to the big departure, there is a big part of me that wishes all of this would fade away and I could just find myself a month into my new life in Kuwait- fun apartment, great job, amazing new friends. I want to soak in every last moment I have in Orlando...but I also want to just avoid. If you withdraw, it hurts less. This is the eternal struggle of the global nomad. I teach lessons on healthy goodbyes and transition, but when it comes to my own life (like in so many other things), it's a whole lot easier to teach a lesson than to live it. In my soul, everything is a big blended mess. I think that's normal during such a transformational transition (is that a redundant phrase?). It's ok to feel excited anticipation and overwhelming grief...all at the same time. It doesn't mean I'm crazy, but I also can't just dismiss it and ignore the cacophony of emotions that batter their way through my heart on a minute by minute basis. I'm happy and I'm sad. And that's ok. I'm coming to understand yet again that in this endless string of transitions, the pain is a gem. It's hidden under a whole lot of muck and grime, but the pain of goodbyes means that there's something to be lost. And if there's something to be lost...there was something gained. It's one of those supernatural paradoxes in life...the beautiful blended with the ugly. Heaven and hell. Creation and death. Death in order to give life. Losing yourself in order to find yourself. Somewhere in the midst of all this...there is a peace where the quagmire of pain turns into a narrow and unpredictable path toward the next great adventure.