I’ve never been great at goodbyes. It makes me sad to go from semester to semester, changing professors and classmates and knowing that whatever time and knowledge we shared is all over. It’s really difficult for me to leave a friend’s place when it’s time to depart after a day of hanging out, even when I’m going to see them the following day. Most times, I act casual when it’s time to give hugs of departure, but deep down, something starts hurting and it all feels heavy.
Tonight, it hit me that after Saturday, I will probably never see my good friend, Stella, again. She lives in Germany and has no plans to visit America again… That sounds harsh, but I don’t blame her. This semester hasn’t been all that great for her, and why would she want to come back when she’s got the rest of the beautiful world to discover?
I’m sure that we meet plenty of people that we wouldn’t mind never seeing again; I have a few in mind that fit that description. However, it breaks my heart to think that I might be saying goodbye to Stella forever. It really is so sad. She is one of the only people who truly understands me without having to justify myself or elaborate on my thoughts… someone who I find comfort in amid this shaky, misfit world, when sometimes, I can’t even feel comfort in my very skin.
Sure, we have social media and video messaging, but it’s different. And then I think about my parents and how everyone that they love is continents away, with the strong uncertainty of seeing them again, and it makes me even more sad to think about how most people probably won’t know the last time that they’ll ever see another person…
But it’s weird. I have this strong urge to jump from place to place, fast– so fast that I won’t have time to say goodbye to people. Maybe that isn’t weird at all, and it is completely valid. Avoid the pain and heartbreak of seeing faces cry, and pull a Michael Scott so that you’re out of there quickly and painlessly. But is that just a numbing? A sedative? A temporary coping mechanism, until the padding wears off, and when you’re hundreds, thousands, millions of miles away, it finally hits you deep to the core and you’re sadder than you would’ve been had you faced them before you left?
I don’t know. I can’t wrap my brain around this reality just yet. But I do know one thing for sure, and it is that people come into our lives for various reasons, for however long God intends for them to teach us a lesson. People come and go. That’s a fact of life. But every single person that crosses our path is a gift sent from above. We just have to recognize it. I am very thankful for Stella, and I pray that wherever she ends up, peace and joy will follow her.