Aug 25, 2015

the grit of goodbyes.

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good-byes hurt. and they happen too much. the only thing I know for certain about this whole good-bye thing? you have to say it sometimes. you have to get real brave, and bite your bottom lip, and let people go sometimes. fully, fully. whether you feel ready or not, you're still going to grow up and use that word a lot more than you ever expected to. 
>> hannah brencher << 

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she was the last glance behind the shoulder, the last cheek-to-cheek hug, the last blown kiss. she lingered in between the goodbyes. 
she left the last pages of journals unfinished, coffee tins half empty. she was always trying her best to hang on.  

I left johanna's home nearly two weeks ago. i didn't water the McDonnell's parking lot with tears like i had at In N' Out in camarillo nearly a year ago. and i wish i could say that the years have made me brave — that they had disclosed some secret formula to keep me from melting into lake arrowhead at the very mention of "goodbye." truth is, i think i've become accustomed to the feeling of missing. i'm always missing something or someone. 

to be honest, i'm not good at goodbyes. i like "see you later's" and alligators and crocodiles. the taste of goodbyes are often left stale and gritty because i don't put them to rest. i don't like letting go. maybe that's the human part of me who fights against inevitable change. because every ticket to and from Florida is an automatic entrance into the change that is etched into me every time college happens. and it's an odd feeling, being the only connection between two different worlds. 

to the college students who are going away, goodbyes are going to become a second language to you.  not the type where the conjugations twist your tongue or you can't determine the masculine or feminine pronouns, but one that clings to your pumpkin colored cardigans and sticks to the soles of your boots after they become hollow from the tiled terminal floors. home is going to tuck itself into the very corners of your suitcase until the smell of it is only vague after storage opens. and there will be nights as the christmas season advances when you won't be able to hide your tears when "i'll be home for christmas" plays in the malls. there'll be nights in the shower that you'll try to stifle tears. and there will be nights you'll fall asleep, nose buried in a blanket that you wish could transfer you to your own bed. 

the only advice i can give you is don't hold on too tight. this life wasn't meant to be held onto. it's meant to be planted in the souls you see down your hall everyday. home will live in your dad's corny jokes that you laugh over with your roommates or when you try to repeat your mum's advice on laundry. it's meant to be impressed upon you and kept pressed between pages of the stories you'll tell around honey-cured hams when christmas eventually calls you back. 
plant your home in people and suddenly the grit of goodbyes is graphed into something more. 
it becomes a beautiful hello.    
also: please pray for the fires that continue to ravage the west coast, especially the ones up in the pacific northwest. 


  1. I'm speechless (literally) and ~*as always*~ in awe of your words.

  2. ps I know goodbye's far to well: moving to four different countries and eleven houses in eighteen years? 'goodbyes' resonate. a lot.

  3. This hurts so beautifully <3 <3 <3

  4. this is so beautiful and captures so much of what I'm feeling during the first week of school without all my friends from last year. It's hard, but the goodbyes and new hellos intertwine into a story that's completely your own...and beautiful in its own sad way.

  5. Oh, my dear Grace. I didn't know that one person could capture a feeling and describe it in words as beautifully as you just did. Goodbyes are hard, but remembering that every goodbye is accompanied with a hello is a sweet thing to remember.

    I'm praying for you as you transition from goodbyes to hellos.


  6. Hello there,
    I really enjoy your blog; I was wondering if you would be interested in contributing to my website? It's aimed towards Christen teen girls seeking to share their ideas and art. You can check it out here-

    Ava :)
    Instagram- @brave.cactus

  7. I am awed by your words, you put my thoughts into beautiful words. I wish I had the talent you have <3

  8. This post is perfection. It captures everything just right. Goodbyes are so hard and scary - especially when you're leaving on a new adventure and you don't know why lies around the bend. God bless you on your journey!

  9. hello i just found your blog and love your journals, and i was wondering where do you get your illustrated journals?
    i just love your style and photography too :)

  10. This is so perfectly painful and beautiful. I'm positively speechless.