It’s never easy, to use our words to say how we really feel. Instead of opening up to others, we tend to hold back, wondering whether or not they will accept us for who we are and where we are coming from. I find my words wrapped around my body, bubbling in my head, waiting to be released and for something else to come along to awaken me. I wait for others to say what they think, to unleash their vulnerability into the moment so that I will feel safe to share my own. I am also a closed flower unopened to the sunlight that casts down from the morning sky.
And then when it matters most it all begins to pour out of my skin. Closing the chapter of one time in my life in exchange for what is yet to come. This is the uncertainty and also the connection, weaving the story of my life together across distances and experiences. Now is my time to say goodbye to what I’ve known over the past five years. I have created a life in Southern California, I have built relationships, hung posters, planted red peppers in the backyard, and made love from sea to shore.
Learning more about the ocean and her pulses, her waves that pull me out and push me back in, crashing along my back as I struggle to my feet. She is relentless and also kind, a woman of the moon. The sun has been soaked up and my skin retains a permanent brown. I have been in love with the desert and the purple light that it casts across my body, across the landscape, and drying up the salty tears that I used to spill.
Now I say goodbye to what I once knew. I watch the faces of everyone that I knew with more care, hanging on to their words as they roll off their lips and linger in the air. I notice the curves of cheekbones, the hand gestures, the hair colors and the way they glow in the afternoon light. I have been spending my time listening to what my heart wants, imagining what it would be like to share what’s written across it, and ready to break down all of the walls that I have been hiding behind.
Now is my time to let it all go. I look at my friends and see their beauty displayed in their eyes. They turn up in a smile, watery corners that edge towards their lids. They look away, they laugh at the softness, and reach for their glasses to take a sip of wine. So many glasses of wine that we’ve shared, spilled on the white carpets, sunken into our bloodstreams.
And so I share what needs to be said with each of them, sitting down and exhaling into the moment. I listen to their quietness and watch the way their chests rise and fall as we exchange air with one another. All of the judgments and flaws fall away now. What matters is our shared humanity – this moment right here. We say goodbye by remembering what we’ve built together over these past five years. There are memories that live in the walls, scars from furniture moved that scraped off paint and chipped corners. We have the couch that is never put together, blankets strewn across the pillows and an empty wine glass forever stationed on the corner of the coffee table.
I’m saying goodbye, but not so long. It would be too hard to let all of this go so quickly. Never imagining to construct friendships of this nature, I see the sacredness of all of us spending these last few months together. We have grown up from Thirsty Thursdays at the local bar to Saturdays when we split a few beers and talk about going to the gym in the morning. Priorities have shifted for us and yet what remains is the circle of trust that has helped us all grow roots within ourselves.
I will never forget these spaces. I have learned how to swim with the changing tides, I have climbed boulders and done handstands with a strength I never knew that I could muster up. My clothes are less important and my skin tanned, the curves of my body all have I come to love about the bareness that we simply are.
The excitement of what is yet to come doesn’t stop me from recognizing the slow transition that occurs within my soul. I still get lost in the memories, my thoughts playing out like a montage in the movie screen of my mind. Moving so quickly to get ready for the impending departure, I forget to breathe and lose sight of saying goodbye with a heartfelt openness. The time to slow down has not yet arrived, but the presence of being here means the world to me. I find the tears behind my eyes held back by the joys of what is coming.
Even in all of this I see me reflected in the people I have come to know and love around me. I recognize the goodness, the hope, and the desire to make life the best that it can possibly be. What I want more than anything is to fold the whole of me in a giant embrace. The type of embrace where the heartbeats sync up and the breath flows from my chest into yours. This is the space and time for us to remember and rejoice in what we have together. It is the time that I get to share my words of unlimited love and optimism for the lives that we are all building together and individually.
To the home that I have come to love, to the life that I choose to lead, I know that there is more beauty yet to come. There will be new landscapes that greet me and an incalculable amount of challenges ahead. A ship is safe in port, but that’s not what a ship is meant for. We are built to travel across these waters and to traverse the horizons for our dreams, exploring the opportunities that take us from one place to another.
Saying goodbye is the hardest part. With no fear, with no safety net below, we jump out of our airplanes and recognize that we are all falling from the sky, some of our parachutes opening faster than others. I am glad to be floating down to the ground with those around me. Now is my time to explore and expand, learning how to glide with the winds that take me to a new place.
While my words are those that I use to connect with those around me, I also open my heart up to the people in my life who encourage me to continue glowing. We stoke each other’s flames, we burn more brightly in the fires of our collective heat. Together we are more. I expand my arms to watch as my spirit bursts open in love. There is no use hiding anything anymore. Now is my time to experience the depths of sadness and the highs of excitement as a new chapter begins in my book.
I say goodbye in a lightness of appreciation and deep gratitude. My love will always be there, it will build us up as pillars that stand to support this world as we grow. We will forever be a part of our histories, distances that are connected from the memories we extend towards one another. Until we meet again.