Lessons In Goodbye
As I reflect back on 2019 I keep coming to the word goodbye and all the ones I’ve said this year. There have been good ones and bad ones, there have been goodbyes I am still grieving and trying to process their ending, ones I have learned to let go and just walk away from, and ones that have taken me to new places in my relationships, not just with others, but also myself.
There have been really hard goodbyes and difficult lessons in those BUT it is so important to know that goodbye isn’t all bad, in fact so many goodbyes are really a new beginning. Over the past year I have said goodbye to not trusting my body. I have become more aware of all the ways I have been marketed to from a very young age and how those things worked to make me believe that my body couldn’t be loved just as it is. I have been able to find a new appreciation for the body I have, the changes it has and will continue to undergo, and the ability to love it through those changes. Will there continue to be struggles? Of course, I am a woman living in a world that will constantly work to remind her that she should ALWAYS worry about being and looking better. BUT my body has been so good to me and carries me through a life I TRULY love.
This goodbye has lifted a burden over the past year. It has allowed me a freedom to trust myself on a new level, one that I wasn’t even aware I needed to get to until I finally found it. I was a prisoner to the idea that my body was never good enough, that I needed to constantly chase the next diet to ‘be something better’ or that I ABSOLUTELY should never just be satisfied with my body. Those ideas were slowly killing me and they will do the same to you. They will eat away at us until we are unable to be anything but our own worst critic and I can’t live in a world where that is the position I take on myself. When we become our own worst critic we put a stop to living the life we are meant to. There will be plenty of things in this world against me I have learned without a shadow of a doubt that I better not be one of them.
This year has also reminded me that there are goodbyes that you cannot control. God knows it is painful when you realize someone or something wasn’t what you thought. These goodbyes leave you feeling lost and looking for where to go next and there is always discomfort looking for new purpose and direction. Unfortunately this year has also brought me to the worst kind of goodbye, when someone you love passes away. It can be so excruciating to deal with someone being gone, especially at an early age, and there are so many questions left with no good way to reconcile any of them. It is not just dealing with the loss of someone but also learning how to navigate a world without them in it.
I don’t have the answers for these goodbyes, these are the toughest ones to face and the hardest ones to deal with. The ones I have faced like these the past year may never have a ‘why’ attached to them because the truth is sometimes shitty things happen. I won’t write off the hard goodbyes and tell you 'everything happens for a reason' because well, that is unhelpful advice, I mean let’s be honest. Learning that some relationships or some situations are simply not what I thought they were has reminded me it is VITAL that I trust myself and that I stay true to who I am. The loss of someone, well that is a totally different story, it is an inescapable, painful reminder, that our time here is short and what each of us does with that lesson will be different. For me it has been a reminder that I must remain grateful, even in the hard times, and how important good friendships are for getting through life's most difficult times.
Goodbye…what a complicated word. What an enormous amount of emotion it brings with it. Goodbye can mean grief but it can also mean hope. What a vast range of ups and downs that word describes for me in 2019. Goodbye can lead to letting go of the things you cannot change, finally getting closure, dealing with the realization that you will never see someone again, or it can put an end to something that needed to find its way out of your life. Goodbyes are one of those inevitable parts of life, and whether they have been difficult, sad, happy, or exactly what I needed they have all made me more appreciative of the things I have taken for granted, more aware of the changes I need to continue to make in to the New Year, and reminded me how precious our time here is. Has it been a good year? Yes. But it has also been a year of growth, spurned by goodbyes, whether I was ready for them or not.
What word would you use to describe your year?