The ‘Good’ in “Goodbye”

Goodbyes are inevitable. Learning this can be one of life’s most challenging lessons. Because usually, we don’t want to say “goodbye.”

“Goodbye” can come through many different avenues. A friend or loved one is moving to a new place, switched jobs, got married, the list goes on. But these are all good and positive things, right? So, why would “goodbye” make us sad?

Well, because what’s as inevitable as goodbyes? Our attachment to others. Friends, family, coworkers. We are literally on this planet for one other. To love and care for each other. To get attached. Of course we become sad when, once we’ve created a relationship with someone, we get to “goodbye.” Of course we become sad.

But what if instead of focusing on the ‘bye’ in the “goodbye,” we focused on the ‘good?’ Because after all, it’s called a goodbye. I’m going to give it a go:

Last fall, I made a new friend, Hannah. Hannah is kind, fun, intelligent, inspiring, courageous. I love listening to tales from the summer she spent in NYC or the 9 months she spent traveling the world. Tomorrow, this courageous friend of mine embarks on her newest adventure- hopping on a plane with suitcase and a one-way ticket to California.

Hannah’s always wanted to live in California. So guess what? She’s going. And our “goodbye” was yesterday. We spent the afternoon enjoying pizza at 7th Street Market (in case you were wondering how the photo above is at all relevant to this post) and chatting over coffee and macarons at Amelie’s. Was the “goodbye” sad? Of course, a little. But here’s the ‘good’ in the “goodbye”:

A friend of mine is leaving to fulfill a dream that’s always been in her heart. She’s going to collect new experiences to add to her already vast story compilation. I’ve gained so much already from friendship with her, the biggest thing being inspiration to just go out into the world- go, explore, be. AND, I have a friend to visit in California. (I have a brother out there too, but he’s dumb).

I can’t wait to see where the world takes Hannah. Her spirit for adventure and exploration is something we could all use more of. I mean it when I say she is truly inspiring.

I know “goodbye” can also come through more difficult avenues like breakups or even death. But even then, there is ‘good’ to be found. You became so attached to someone that “goodbye” is unimaginable. Someone had an impact on you, left you with likely hundreds or thousands of memories. You loved someone so much they changed you. If that’s not good, I don’t know what is.

So I’ve said “goodbye” to Hannah, but I’m focusing on the ‘good.’ And it’s a pretty neat thing. Why not give it a shot next time you have a “goodbye?”