I took two years of French in high school.
Although it was a small class, it was neat to not only learn a new language, but feel pretty prestigious once I realized I knew the meaning behind a lot of the character names and songs in Beauty and the Beast. Thankfully, my "visual learner" kicked in and helped me in my test taking, but unfortunately learning a new language is more than just being able to read and write it. Ya gotta speak it at some point. Which also wasn't too bad until we got to the dreaded French "r". The perfect blend of sounding like you need to both clear your throat and spit at the same time. It's actually beautiful really. But only when people who are French say it.
One phrase in particular always gave me an exceedingly amount of trouble: "au revoir", the French words for goodbye. It starts and ends with that stupid and beautiful "r" leaving my throat super dry. It's funny what tiny details your mind remembers about the past.
Today was the first day of my last semester of college.
Considering I'm still trying to figure out what those words mean put together, one thing I do have figured out is that a lot is about to happen in life over the next few months. And when you have six hours of driving to get to school you can't help but think about it.
Saying goodbye to my family for a pretty good while.
Saying hello to a new family.
Leaving the familiar streets of T-Town.
Learning the streets, shortcuts, and city of Jonesboro.
Crying as I move boxes out of Shores 308 and living with some of my favorite friends ends.
Living with the love of my life, and starting at the beginning learning the lives of new people.
But why? What makes a goodbye hard and why is it so difficult for us? Is it because whatever it was is over and we know we didn't do all we should have? Or maybe because we're hugging the necks, or closing the casket, of people we didn't say all the things we wanted to? Or maybe it's because this season and situation of our lives we've finally learned to manage/manipulate/control is about to change once again. We're about to have to uncomfortably learn something new. We're about to have to hand over the driver's seat of our future and feel the growing pains of failure once more. We're about to need help again.
But if I've learned much of anything as my person has grown over the last 4 years, it's that this is the rhythm of living life. Especially the Christian one.
Waving goodbye so that you can say hello to something/someone else.
Closing chapters so that you can start a different one (maybe this next one will be your favorite one yet).
Dying to your old self so that you can begin making room for and learning the new you.
So if you're in a season of saying goodbye like me, maybe there's nothing weird about it. It's sad sometimes. But not uncommon. It's just the rhythm of life and we'll soon be saying goodbye to the things we're now saying hello to. Change is constant and that fact by itself only solidifies in my mind that I should never cling too tightly.
Saying goodbye may never come naturally but it will also never go away. Because even though right now we're traveling on a road that leads us farther and farther away from what we feel is home, it's also the road that takes us deeper into knowing ourselves. And once we get there, the adventure begins.