Sometimes You Have To Learn How To Say Goodbye To Yourself

Photo: More Than Production / shutterstock
woman in sunset

By Josie Griffith

We all hate to say goodbye. It’s the one thing that never really sits the right way. It’s always a little too heavy on your heart.

Whatever the reason, whoever the person, saying goodbye is the same in every language. It means that there’s an end. It’s final and, most importantly, it’s over.

Even if it’s an old flame, a long time coming, if it’s someone small or someone big, it never gets any easier to say it out loud.

RELATED: Why Sometimes Saying Goodbye Is The Best Thing You Can Do

In your twenties, you’re going to lose a lot. You’re going to lose jobs, you’re going to lose friends, you’re going to lose focus, maybe even lose your way.

But the thing that you won’t lose is the feeling you get when you have to say goodbye. To a person, maybe another chapter in your life. There’s enough going on and, on top of all of that, sometimes losing goodbyes means losing your comfort.

It’s important to remember one thing that everyone always forgets to mention: It’s okay. There’s a time and a place for everything. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, there’s a reason behind every last word. Even if you didn’t get to say it.

When you’re young, there are so many choices. And being in your twenties isn’t easy and carefree.

It’s time to start making moves, small and giant. And it also means making choices for yourself. Deciding who’s going to be in your life, who’s going to stick around, and who isn’t going to make the cut.

Not every situation gets closure and, honestly, not every person deserves a goodbye.

It takes more energy than you think, making the choice to leave someone behind while you move forward. Making you were just moving in different directions.

It can mean falling out of love.

It can mean falling in love.

It can mean leaving home and building a new one.

It can mean going on an adventure and coming back and having to rebuild everything that you had before you left.

It can mean finally seeing that if everything stays the same, then you’re going to stay the same too.

I guess the real point is that it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. But one lesson that is of the utmost importance is learning the art of losing.

RELATED: What Do You Do When All You Have Is You?

It takes a while to master it because we all want to hold on, right? To stay around and fight. That’s supposed to be the hard part, holding on until your knuckles turn white.

But the older you get, the smarter you get, and the wiser you are with your time. It doesn’t make it suck any less, but maybe you just get used to it. Because, for the most part, it turns out better than expected.

I don’t know which one is worse: saying goodbye to a person, a place, or a thing. Maybe it’s the one that pulls on your heartstrings the most. Things are replaceable; most of the time, places can always be found exactly where you left them.

The streets won’t have moved, houses and front porches will all remain intact. It’s people. Saying goodbye to people is the hardest part.

Because guess what? People can change. People can grow far apart or closer together.

But having to say goodbye means that you don’t get to know what happens next. You don’t get to be the reason for a conversation or even a part of it anymore.

And let me tell you, no one likes to be forgotten. Especially when they thought they would be around forever. But forever is a long time when you're 21 or 28.

When you’re trying to build a life, lay down roots, feel a little grounded as a grown up, there’s people that stay and people that go, it’s as simple and black and white as that.

You don’t have to say goodbye to everyone and everything you know. It’s not always about cutting people off and out, or quitting your job or moving across the country.

But there is something to be said about finding enough courage to do anything at all.

Fear can be a huge motivator, but it can also be the thing that slows you down the most. It can make you stand still forever if you let it. Some people wait their whole lives to get going, to change, to learn how to spell out goodbye for themselves.

I guess the point is that when you’re figuring it all out, saying goodbye, losing, is a huge part of it.

And sometimes before you can really decide who and what you’re going to be, you have to learn how to say goodbye to yourself.

RELATED: 70 Sad Goodbye Quotes To Help You Say Farewell

Josie Griffith is a blogger and lifestyle writer living in Baltimore, Maryland. She's a contributor to Unwritten, Thought Catalog, Puckermob, and more. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.