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 <<
SHE NEVER LIKED ENDINGS.
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.