It’s that time again, time to move and explore new territory and revisit the familiar. I’m not sure what the difference was this year, but it has been special in a very good way. I guess, though, it’s not fair to compare this time in “the Cove” to any other time. Our past years here have been special in different ways, and no two years are ever going to be the same.
Saying goodbye is hard. When it’s hard, that is a good thing, I think. It means you have shared joy and laughter and celebrated life together. Knowing that there is the likelihood of meeting again in the future is more cause for celebration.
Get over worrying about being judged, or “what people will think”. You’re missing great opportunities to meet really special people – just like you. Putting yourself out there – meeting someone and getting to know them (beyond the brief smile and nod as you pass) takes bravery and courage. Why? Because you are sharing a piece of yourself and embracing a piece of that person – and you know that you will be traveling different paths and there will likely be some sorrow when you part. How powerful are you when you do that? And how powerful is that person that shares the exchange? To be able to move beyond the sadness of parting doesn’t mean you won’t feel it – it means you acknowledge it and cherish the experience even more.
I realize that this is also true of exploring new places. It really boils down to stepping out of the comfort zone. Clinging to the familiar is incredibly limiting. It may seem comfortable, but eventually it is mind numbing and you lose appreciation for the setting, the circumstance, or the person. As cliché as it is, tomorrow is never guaranteed. Worrying about what could happen just wastes time that could be spent exploring and acknowledging possibilities. And when “I should” becomes a statement of negative self-worth (as in, I would like to do that – but I should stay home and ___) – give yourself permission to do what you would LIKE to do.
We’ve been saying lots of goodbyes this past week or two. Some more this weekend, then we leave on Tuesday. Make those goodbyes happy – and remember to include a “thank you” – gratitude for the shared experiences and celebrations. And look forward to new adventures and more friends you haven’t met yet. It’s simple, and yes cliché (again) – but today is unique – you will never have it again. Yesterday will never be lived again. Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet and will be a new adventure because you’ve never lived it. Be present in today – this moment, the people you are with, the attitude and outlook you choose. Live gratitude – express it, embrace it, experience it.
My very hard grace lesson in this is realizing how many great opportunities I have missed by not reaching out, being brave, and learning about friends I haven’t yet met. My joyful lesson is the knowledge that I have chosen to change this.