I had to make myself write this.
Reach down to my very essence and pull it all out. Every word. How I feel about it. Why I’ve changed. I had to make myself do it because it needs to get out of me. It needs to latch itself onto others and soothe their worries. These words no longer belong to me. I don’t want them. They are yours now. All of the pople who I wish I could sit down next to and talk over coffee. And I had to physically make myself write this because I really hate goodbyes.
I hate the way they make my heart feel & how that word rolls off my tongue & the sensation of loss it carries with it in its pocket. But goodbyes are oh so neccesary. They help us grow. help us stretch. help us spread. We need goodbyes like Gatsby needed Daisy, like Valjean needed faith, like the Doctor needed the Tardis. So let me just say that one more time:
We need goodbyes.
And I’ll be honest… I’m no good at them. I never have been. I’m one to stutter over the syllables and lay stagnant in the silences. I stay stuck between the ghost of my past and letting go. I can’t pretend to be strong enough to say goodbye.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
The boy with the world on his shoulders broke down before my eyes. He was crying and I was helpless to ease his pain. It was beyond me and my words weren’t band-aids and poetry that night. All I could do was stare at the boy who had taught me stregth be vulnerable & weak & defeated. All I could do was rub his back and assure him the he would excel at whatever tasks were thrown at him.
“I just love her so much.” the boy with the world on his shoulders sobbed. “I just love her so much and she probably blames me for all of this.”
I didn’t know what to say to him. I didn’t know how to react. I just reassured the boy that his girl loved him no matter what mistakes had been made. But how could I honestly know? How could I truthfully say that when the only person I’ve ever loved doesn’t even knowledge my existence anymore? I was not well versed in the topic of love and it’s strength and it’s desire to never fail. Yet here the boy with the world on his shoulders was asking the naive girl questions about the hard stuff. About the stuff she doubts and questions herself. About the “how could this happen to someone” stuff. About logical suicides, God’s existence, cancer, and eating disorders.
And I wasn’t full of answers. I wasn’t full of hope or silver linings or dreams. I was filled to the brim with fear for the boy and a frustration towards God. I was full of a hatred towards myself and a need to be a fortress with an understanding of growth and letting go. The boy with the world on his shoulders was leaning on me and my foundation was breaking. But I pretended for his sake. I pretended I was full of quiet strength as he cried over families and dead-beat fathers and unanswered wishes upon stars.
For so long this boy had been my rock and I had been the natural disaster. I never thought I’d be the one trying to pick up the pieces he left in his wake. But here I was, picking up shattered dreams and lost faith, afraid that he was broken beyond repair. And I just sat there in his passenger seat watching him cry in the moonlight; and I was thinking about how life can be so cruel to the most beautiful people. How circumstances really are a big defining factor.
And the boy with the world on his shoulders helped me realize something: I was holding onto the only person who was holding me back from attaining something, from changing the world queitly with gentle movements:
And now I know it’s time to say goodbye to myself; to every person I’ve ever been. I’m done holding myself hostage. I’m tired of keeping myself from reaching for the galaxies I’ve seen in my future. So I’m letting go of my yesterdays. I’m shaking hands with all the “me’s”, good and bad, that have gotten me to this point in my life. I am so thankful to have journied with you.
–So goodbye little girl with patent leather shoes, pigtails swinging around, and innocence shining in your eyes. Your laughter still echoes in mine. Your joy still rings inside my heart.
— Goodbye rebel girl who swam in mud puddles behind an abandoned Safeway. Your courage is something I’m trying to get back. I hope to be as fierce as you were one day.
–Goodbye warrior who took the blame and the beatings. No one deserved the hits, but you bore them for your siblings bravely you sweet girl. The love you had for them is only stronger now.
— Goodbye you sneaky liar, thief, and make-up artist. You learned how to cover bruises, steal without getting caught, and wove stories around them both like spiderwebs.
–Godbye girl who hid her faith from the world. God gave you such a strong testimony, share it.
–Goodbye mathematician, nutritionist, and athlete. Forget the calories. Eat. Pray. Love. And please live. You are so much more than the number on the scale.
–Goodbye girl who thought suicide was her only option. Aren’t you glad you hung around? I am.
–Goodbye to the girl who found strength on the stage. I’m carrying you around in my parts and spoken word girl. Always.
–Goodbye you shy bookworm. The books will forever be there to welcome you home.
–Goodbye depression & cutter & purger & girl who ran from God because she felt alone. I’ll cherish the friends we’ve made and salvation we’ve gained. I’ll embrace them and love them like crazy.
And as much as I hate goodbyes, I am relieved to be saying these. We need to let go of the people we’ve been so that we can become the people we were meant to be. The boy with the world on his shoulders taught me that. I hope he becomes the greatness he was destined for. I’m certainly trying to. So goodbye you past me’s. Its been a stellar ride but I’m leaving to meet myself at the train station and I can’t wait to say:
“Hello girl with spoonfuls of hope to the feed the world and silver linings harbored in your eyes. I’m so glad to meet you & love our God together & quietly change this world & scream Taylor Swift and Iggy songs. Girl, I don’t know about you but I’ve been dreaming of the day we become one and the same. Let’s make history.”
Babycakes, goodbyes may be hard… but saying hello to the person you are bursting at the seams to becom is as sweet as Georgia peaches. So take that first bite. Let it go. Say a goodbye. And welcome yourself home.