I’ve moved. I’ve left many things behind–the miscellaneous items that couldn’t fit in my Toyota Corolla, the comfort of familiar territory, the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on, and the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. Saying goodbye to those things was not easy, yet saying goodbye to the people I love was nearly unbearable. IMG_3452I’ve shed too many tears to prove it. It seems I have been saying goodbyes since June when classes ended. I said goodbyes when I visited home. I said goodbyes during my last visit downtown. I said goodbyes the morning I left Illinois. And I said a goodbye as I left my boyfriend at the airport after a week with him in North Carolina. You would think that after so much practice, I would be an expert at the act. Instead, each farewell became harder and harder. It’s not easy leaving the ones you love, especially all at once. IMG_0980 It was so simple to release tears, carry around a heavy heart, and sulk in sadness. Let me tell you one thing though: it was not fun. I needed to do something to turn my sadness to appreciation, and so I looked up quotes on goodbyes. This is what I learned: 1. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh The beauty of characters from our childhood is that they continue to teach us lessons throughout life. It was hard to leave all of my friends and family because I have such incredible people in my life. I had indelible memories with each person, and that is truly something to be thankful for. In fact, I must be one of the luckiest people in the world to have felt such painful goodbyes. I remember the fun nights in my apartment with my friends, the last visit home to see my family, the vacation to South Carolina to see my brother, the visits to see the young girl I once nannied, the weekends at the lake with my boyfriend’s family, and the many family dinners that were filled with laughter and delicious food. IMG_1170I have a friend who left our reserved lunch table to help me parallel park my car, a brother who knows the perfect way to make me smile, a boyfriend who is by my side when I do and don’t deserve it, a small group who made me want to be more like Jesus, and family who makes me feel loved. How lucky I was to have such difficult goodbyes. 2. “Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again!” It seems that all goodbyes are made tragic because we assume the worst. A goodbye is not a forever farewell but rather a “see you later!” I know that the people in my life will still be there for me even though I am across the country. I don’t doubt I will have visitors and I will make visits. Life is too short to not be with the people I love, and I know those people will brighten my day no matter where I am. Sometimes time away makes us appreciate the people in our lives even more. After being apart, I will only grow to love them each more. 3. Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss From now on, my tears will be happy tears–tears of thanksgiving. I won’t cry because I miss someone but rather because I am overjoyed by the memories I will always carry with me. The memories go on forever. I am so blessed. IMG_3419 IMG_9946 Goodbyes are not easy. Trust me, I know. However, they also remind us of the beauty of relationship and fun times. I have learned that goodbyes don’t always need to be sad. We each say goodbyes all of the time. Sometimes it is for an hour, sometimes a day, sometimes weeks, months, years, or an eternity. However, those goodbyes exist because we first said a hello–a hello that lead to smiles and tears, and sometimes even many fun years.