How To Find The 'Good' In 'Goodbye' And Embrace New Beginnings After Old Endings
A new season is upon us. Though signs of summertime may linger in intermittent humid days and melancholy sunshine, fall has officially begun. It is no coincidence that as the leaves turn and the air chills, we, too, will undergo change.
Autumn offers fresh beginnings and momentous endeavors for young adults: moving to college, the start of school, first days at "real" jobs and opportunities to travel abroad.
New journeys, no matter how exciting, become bittersweet with the realization that we must leave the ones we love, the places we know best and the support that has sheltered us thus far in life.
Some plans are temporary; some are seasonal; some only last for a semester at a time. Others can be more long-term and require keeping in touch when home is no longer a phone call away. Despite the destination, a proper goodbye is always required before departure.
Still, it is difficult to be optimistic in our goodbyes, especially when we know the next hello will not arrive for quite some time. Bidding farewell can evoke sadness, fear, anxiety and loneliness, which are overwhelming emotions that force us to reflect on what we had and what we have lost.
To counter these thoughts, we should focus on what there is to gain from the opportunities that come our way. After all, life tends to present new adventures without forewarning.
When plans arise that take us far from home, we are left with two options: lament over the idea of leaving or welcome the possibilities of going.
I chose the latter. I just arrived in Spain, where I will teach English language and culture for one academic year. I made my rounds and said my goodbyes to my nearest, dearest friends and loved ones. Tears were shed, and I was caught in many long embraces.
Some recent days have been sad and stressful, while others have been normal and without worry. My anxiety about starting a new life in an unfamiliar country for nine months will only truly subside when I choose to acknowledge the unreal experience that is about to begin.
Stepping out of a comfort zone typically feels something like leaping off of a cliff. To counter one’s fear of change, it is of vital importance to imagine positive ends to the trips we will take, the goals we will pursue and the dreams we will chase.
Envisioning goodness, brightness and bountiful blessings can only bring about greatness.
Even in harder times, we can be prepared to fight our demons when armed with fierce optimism. In all seasons of life, a positive perspective provides room to thrive and time to find gratitude.
It is also reassuring to remind yourself of the support system you might have at home. For some, family provides the greatest love and advice imaginable.
Others have created a network of extraordinary friends who offer acceptance and the inspiration a person needs in order to soar.
Many people are lucky enough to have both. I am blessed with individuals in my life who support and motivate me. It is their love that provided me the confidence to begin this journey, and it is their enthusiasm that keeps me going.
I believe I have found the good in my goodbyes. I no longer feel sad or fearful about my adventure. My life in the States is behind me, and the only obligation I now have is to create an authentic experience abroad — one that's brimming with potential, exceeds limitations and encourages growth.
Through gratitude and optimism, I feel prepared. Most importantly, I feel excited.
To anyone outside of his or her element and to anyone chasing his or her dream, I wish you success on your journey.
To those who might be saying goodbye, take your sadness in stride as you walk toward the beautiful horizon. Each day grants us a chance to move upward or stay rooted in monotony.
The beauty of it all is that our adventures must always begin within us, not on a trip, in a new job or at a new school. Let your joy bloom, even in seasons of change, because what is to come will always be greater than what is here today.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It