Goodbyes are sometimes AWESOME--like when you can't wait to leave a place.
But, most of the time, they're AWFUL--like when you don't want to leave people.
Our goodbyes have begun, and there are an awful lot of them. We said our formal goodbyes to the attending physicians and their wives two weeks ago at a banquet. That was okay, but still not fun. Last night, we said our goodbyes to our small group (of which only half the members were present thereby requiring more goodbyes when we can meet up with the missing members).
In this process, I've discovered something. Saying goodbye is only hard when you've invested yourself. If you never make an effort to invest in people's lives--you stay holed up in your house only interacting with people on a surface level, then goodbyes shouldn't be hard for you. It's only when you are transparent and vulnerable with people that saying goodbye to them is hard.
When you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. If you don't invest yourself in relationships, you will not get a good return. If you want to have meaningful relationships, you must sow generously and that is not just with time--it is with your very self. Being vulnerable with people isn't easy, and it is something that should be reserved for trustworthy friends. You certainly don't throw your life out there for any person on the sidewalk.
But, if you want to have meaningful relationships, you have to be real with people. You have to spend quality time with them. You have to encourage them. You have to allow people to see you struggle and see you conquer. You have to let go of the tendency to only do what works for you. You have to consider others better than yourself--their needs above yours (and do you really know what you need?). You have to allow them to see you without your makeup and in those hideous sweats you can't bear to part with.
You have to GIVE yourself.
You have to DENY yourself.
You have to BE yourself.
So, when the time to say goodbye comes, I hope that you can say it was hard. Because if it's easy, you're missing out.