Saying Good-bye is All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Good-bye is hard.  Really hard.  Even though it’s something I want.  I hate saying good-bye.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

And it’s taking forever.

Last week I traveled to an emergency project meeting in Charlotte.  Something isn't working the way it should.  In fact, it's not working well at all.  It has to be taken care of before the software can go into production.

Because the trip wasn’t scheduled, I had a hard time getting a hotel.  I ended up at one that I really don’t like to stay in.  The walls are paper thin, and the heater that old style where you can’t control the temperature.  And the fan sounds like a freight train.

As you can imagine, I didn’t sleep very well.

I blamed it on the noise and the uncomfortable temperature.  And I’m sure that had something to do with it.  But that wasn’t the only problem.  The rest was having to say good-bye.

I told you in my last post that I’d really like to slip out unnoticed, but that isn’t right.  Or healthy.  No, I need to not only face, but embrace the gamut of emotions I’m feeling as I prepare to leave.

Joy.  Grief.  Impatience.  Overwhelm.  Pride.  Gratitude.  All mixed together in a good-bye cocktail.

So many people telling me they’re jealous.  Meanwhile, I feel a bit lost.  I haven’t ever done this before.  This leaving.  Nor have I ever waded headlong into the unknown – at least on purpose.

And yet, even as these emotions boil over to the point that they’re disturbing my sleep, I know I’ll get through this.  And I won’t just get through.  I can love this time.  To feel pain doesn’t mean I have to suffer.  I can embrace that pain.  Lean into it.  And embrace the beautiful moments too.

Those beautiful moments are mixed with the uncomfortable, stress-filled, uncertain-ness.  The sadness of good-bye is mixed with the enthusiasm of hello.  Even though I’m not yet sure what I’ll be saying hello to.

Not only that, but God is going with me.  And so are some of my friends.  Friends who know what it’s like to say good-bye.  To forge a whole new identity.  I’m not alone.  I’m surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  Now and after I leave.

So…though I’m not exactly running toward the unknown with my arms open wide, I’m at least walking toward it.  Ready to embrace it as a friend, rather than fight it as an enemy.

How about you?  Are you in an uncertain, uncomfortable place right now?  If so, why not embrace it as a friend too?  With joy.  Share your commitment, and even what happens afterward, in the comments below. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Rick Charlie

    I am with you. Even in situations that are not so great for me, I have a hard time with goodbye. Is it the familiar vs unfamiliar? the good memories? I don’t know. Yet, I sit outside the situation, only knowing the parts of the story that are hurting for you, and I sit happy to hear that this move is happening. Much love and respect out to you! Big hugs!!

  • “I can love this time.”
    Stellar outlook, my friend.
    One I want to cultivate too :)

  • Debra Healey

    Great post Kathleen, I felt all of your same feelings as I said goodbye and it was a bit sad and scary anticipating what was next. Now I’m almost a year out and what I enjoyed saying hello to was mornings with no scheduled meetings, walks when I felt like it, lunch with friends and time to “just be” I wish you all the same so you can say….saying hello is all it is cracked up to be.

    • I’m so glad saying hello is all it’s cracked up to be too, Deb. We will have a lot to share, you and I.

  • Yes I have too found goodbyes hard. At the same time I have become aware that they are also doorways to areas of new growth and possibility. I am confident that will be so true for you Kathleen!