Goodbyes (Written July 20)
I absolutely hate saying goodbyes. Seriously. I’d rather stub my toe than say goodbye.
That’s how strongly I feel about this.
Add in the fact that I just had to say a bunch of them today, and am about to say more of them within the next two weeks, and you’ve got a very unhappy Joseph right now.
In all honesty, I don’t think I have the faith to believe that any amount of hands shaken, hugs shared, or tears shed, can ever take the place of that inexpressible moment when you look into a stranger’s eyes, smile, say hello, and somehow get the feeling that, even if just for that moment, a new friendship could take root and develop.
Admittedly, these are the kinds of moments I’d love to live for.
At the same time, I realize that I am also an anomalies of anomalies when it comes to saying my hello’s and goodbye’s, because I’m always hesitant to embrace new beginnings and experiences - but when I actually do, I don’t want to let them go.
I guess you could say that I’m just hopelessly in love with stability. Normalcy. Security.
And I’m unbelievably weighed down by my fear of everything but: instability. Irregularity. Insecurity.
As such, the worst part about saying goodbyes for me is being haunted by the thoughts of what could or should have been if only I had been more present to the days, and the hours, and the minutes that seem to pass quickly before my eyes.
It is then, with regretful frustration, that I say that my problem with saying goodbyes actually lies in my inability to say hello - to say hello to my neighbor. To say hello to the new day. To say hello to spontaneity. To say hello to unpredictability. Inevitability. God’s will.
How I wish to live a life without regrets.
But it’s time for me to understand that my goodbyes shouldn’t be a expression of dejection to all the things that could have been or should have been if I had been more open to the present moment. Rather - a prayer of thanksgiving that the hello even happened at all.
I guess underneath all these mixed emotions reflecting on how amazing my experience at St. Mary’s for LSL was, and the amazing experience I’m sure to have at Thomas Aquinas, is a lesson that I’m starting to come to terms with:
In my life people will come and go. Memories will fade. Time will pass away. But the fact that I am a result of all these things, even though they are a part of the past, should give me that courage to look at that person who was once a stranger, smile, say goodbye, and somehow get the feeling that, even if just for that moment, your paths both intertwined and parted for a reason.
And that has to be one of the moments worth living for as well.