Packing up and moving somewhere new has been extremely fun and rewarding. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work in two breathtaking and completely different locations. My summer was filled with beautiful white water and even more beautiful people and now I find myself nestled into the rivers of grass that encompass the Everglades. I live a life surrounded by nature and my job is leading trips that people go on vacation for.
Even though I have all that going on and I wouldn’t change much, there is something that got me thinking the other day as I waited for my airplane to board to fly back to Florida. I was on my way back after visiting home for my beloved mother’s 21st (50th) birthday. As I sat in the generic airport leather seats, I found myself choking back tears. I felt like I was a little kid all over again, and suddenly running out the door and back into my mom’s van sounded like the best option I had. So as I tried to keep my cool, I began to figure out why I was feeling this way and this is the conclusion I arrived at: GOODBYES ALWAYS SUCK.
Personally, I have always had an issue with goodbyes. As a kid I remember crying as my dad and I left Siloam Springs after a camping trip because I did not want to say bye to our fun-filled weekend. That same sentiment has followed me around my entire life, and here at 22 years old I can say that not much has changed. No one tells you that the day you graduate from college is one of the hardest days of your life. Its basically a big celebration that ends with an empty apartment, a piece of paper, and saying goodbye to all of the people you just spent every waking moment with for the last four years. I think that day was the first time I truly felt a little helpless. I began to doubt myself and my plans. What was I doing? Was I really about to leave everything behind and run away to Wisconsin where I knew no one and leave my friends and family behind?
Fortunately, this feeling faded as I grew comfortable with my new family up north. Soon though, I found myself back at home with my family and friends while I was waiting to head down to the Everglades to start my new gig. I had the chance to see many of those beautiful people who make my life so damn amazing. I laughed hard and smiled like I had seen them just the day before. These experiences made my departure in October more difficult though as I was met with the familiar feeling of hugging my mom and dad in the drive way before I started up my car to drive 29 hours south. I fooled myself into thinking that this time would be easier, I mean I had already lived months miles away from them right? I realized how wrong I was as tears filled my eyes as I rolled away from my childhood home.
It was not until I was back in Florida and in my car heading towards Everglades City that I realized what I had failed to see in all those other goodbyes. After having such a brilliant weekend with some of those same marvelous people that make my life so great, I finally realized why our toughest goodbyes are actually our greatest blessing. Tucked behind the ache of not knowing the next time you will get to see those closest to your heart is the blessing that there are people that exist in your life that make you feel this way. GOODBYES ALWAYS SUCK, but that is what makes them so great. Having people in your life that make you laugh harder than you thought possible, that make you love deeper than you ever have before, and that make goodbyes some of the hardest moments of your life are the people that make life worth living. So go ahead! Go out there and take risks and find your next adventure! Walk away from what is easy and comfortable every now and then! Say those hurtful goodbyes to those that you love but remember that they are never really that far away.
“Don’t be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”
– Richard Bach