When you’re growing up no one ever tells you about the hard parts of life. The parts where you will continue to meet a group of amazing people. People who challenge you. Help you to grow, build yourself, and love life. People that see you at your worst moments and yet somehow love you even more than before. People who celebrate the moments when you succeed even when things aren't’ going as well for them. People that you call family.
People who you are then forced to depart from. From the moment you start high school the Goodbye Year cycles and repeats itself. Every four years you are forced into goodbyes that seem sudden. Even though you were gifted with four years — 1,459 days — 35,016 hours — 2,100,960 minutes of time with these people it still doesn’t seem like it’s enough. Sure there are exciting opportunities on the horizon, but it’s the pain of letting go that holds you back.
High school ends and you say goodbye ready to discover yourself in the next part of your journey.
If you go off to college, that too ends in four years. Where you once again say goodbye to begin the next part of your journey.
Attending graduate school after that forces you into goodbyes again in another four years.
And it’s not necessarily that you are letting go of your friends. It’s that you’re letting go of the person they first befriended. Because inevitably you grow, and you change, and you continue to mature your thoughts/ideas/opinions.
So here I am. In October of a goodbye year. The year that when it comes to an end, we all must bid our farewells before going into our own “great unknowns” per John Greene.
To My Friends,
Thank you for not always agreeing with me, but instead challenging me to think differently. Thank you for getting angry with me. For calling me out on my bullshit when I needed it. Thank you for being honest and telling me when perhaps I wasn’t being the good friend I thought I was.
Those are the types of things that only true family members can do. Because when the sun sets and the day ends you know you still love them. Things are rarely perfect, and sometimes they get out of hand but love remains the same. I want to thank you all for making me feel loved in a strange place during one of the most stressful times of our lives.
From going on McDonalds runs for drunken McNugs to just sitting at home and untangling yarn. There were many nights of dinners and drinks and desserts and parties and study nights and Target runs and blue bubbled texts. You’ve all gotten me through. You’ve helped me grow and better myself. You sustain and ground me like the roots of a tree.
I want you to know that even though it seems premature, I’m going to miss you. I will miss that warm feeling of your presences. When any of you are around I feel as though nothing can shake me. Nothing and no one can tell me I’m not worthy of love or belonging. Because you all make me feel loved and you make me feel as though I belong in your families. You make me laugh until I can’t breathe, and smile until my cheeks are begging for relief.
I hope that perhaps I’ve provided you with similar comforts during our time here. I hope that in the moments when you felt unloved, that maybe you reached out and I could remind you how amazing you are. When it was cold outside, I hope you came by and I provided you with warmth, and coffee (or tea or alcohol depending on the occasion). Most of all I hope that even when I wasn’t operating at my best, that I never made you feel like you weren’t cared about or cared for. Because you mattered more than I could ever put into written expression.
In the future I hope my plans involve you all. We can travel, and explore. We can discover new things and continue to make magical memories. We can laugh, and cry, and yell about all the things that life continues to bring our way. I hope I watch your families grow and that you are involved in mine. I hope we keep in touch and that even though months may go by, that we are able to pick back up right where we left off.
Your friendships transcend my ability to express exactly what each one means to me. Each friend is unique and all of them make me feel #2Blessed2BeStressed.
You are all beautiful souls and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with you. Know that wherever I may be that you have a home to visit, food to eat, and a friend who loves you dearly.
With All My Love,
Even though this is a goodbye year, there are some people who I know are forever friends. And others who may be a little too busy and things may get a little off track for us. I am prepared for either outcome and will continue to show my love all the same. I understand that life can get chaotic and sometimes we forget about people for brief moments.
But we never truly forget about the love people show us. At times when we feel upset or down about life, our mind often reminds us of the moments when we were lifted up by those around us. The memories we fiendishly stored come rushing to the forefront demanding to be re-experienced. And we smile and perhaps even cry at the beauty of those moments.
I have no doubts that we are all going to achieve great things. I also know that the next few months of interviews, travel, and rank lists are going to be a whirlwind of excitement and stress alike. So heres to us, heres to all the moments we spent together, and all the moments we have yet to experience. Heres to the future and to life long friendships.
Heres to friends that we call family, and even though soon we will all part ways we know that when we are in each other’s company we are never far from home.