Goodbyes are interesting.
I have been through enough of them that they are not prone to melt me into a puddle, and I have noticed that they all share some similarities. I am thinking about them because we are at the beginning of the last softball tournament that The Child will play with this team that she has been with for four years, and there are some interesting dynamics among the players and parents.
1. It’s easier to leave mad. That’s why in the final weeks/months of togetherness there is so much fighting and nit-picking and general ass-holery. This is, I think, universal, except among very, very close friends for whom distance means nothing. Like my friend Kerry. I am like a tick, except she can’t even burn me off with a match. No matter where I go or how far I roam, I know that when I see her, we will pick up where we left off, literally. So she is the exception to the rule.
2. It’s hard to know what you are leaving until you are gone. This is the Bullshit Rule of the Universe. Unless you are SUPER AWARE (rare), you really don’t truly understand what you have until it’s gone. This is also known as the Law of Taking Things For Granted. So how this works is that you think everything is fine and dandy as you are leaving and Fuck These People until you wind up in the new place and then you realize that there were things/people that you miss more than you thought you would, like crippingly more, but guess what? Too bad for you, because if you have done this properly you have well and truly pissed people off (see rule #1) so that’s all for you.
(between you, me, and the lamppost, I am POSITIVE this won’t happen to me, but this is how #2 works. No one thinks it will happen. So there’s that.)
3. Along the same lines of #2, everything in the new place seems rosy and wonderful compared to the place you are leaving. This is not possible. Everything in a place cannot be rosy and wonderful. Some things are actually dull and awful. In the newness of it all, the rosy thing shines more brightly. It’s just the way.
But guess what?
4. Change is constant, and change is good, and you cannot do anything about it anyway, so what the hell. Sometimes in order to move forward, you really need to move. Literally. Sometimes the move needs to be drastic, and sometimes you can move down the street or across town.
5. Leaving can be refreshing. A change of place makes you a newcomer again, and a new perspective can be invigorating. The trick is to look at it with wide-open eyes, like a newborn, and not be jaded. That makes it an adventure, as opposed to looking at it as One More Thing To Do, which just makes you tired.
6. When everything falls to shit, sometimes the only thing left to do is move. When you have tried it all and exhausted all of your resources, moving is the only thing left to do. This makes it a choice you don’t have to make. More like an inevitability. Which can be refreshing if you are sick of making decisions.
There is more to this, I am sure, but it has been a long day and I am four fingers into a cheap bottle of bourbon and an absurd number of gluten-free pretzels, so that will have to wait.