I'm terrible with goodbyes. Quite seriously, I could be considered the epitome of a Minnesotan goodbye: say goodbye, talk for another twenty minutes, then actually leave.
I'm not 100% sure as to why I do this. I've never had anyone abandon me or leave me behind--not in any serious sense. It's just always been.
I like the term, "I'll see you later."
I don't know why I believe in that line better than goodbye. I always somehow believe that all paths will somehow one day cross again, whether it be in a few hours or a few years--sometimes, I fully believe a whole new life.
I believe that there are some people you are just meant to meet. Meant to have experiences with. Meant to have moments, however fleeting, where you connect. I have friends who I am so comfortable around, it's as if we've never been without each other. I feel as if I'm coming home when I'm around them.
And maybe that's why I don't like saying goodbye. It seems so final, resolute, an end. It doesn't seem correct to say that to a friend because it isn't an ending--it's just a time period that we wait until our next connection.
I said goodbye yesterday.
It seems like a tough decision, but it was a long time coming. It was becoming work, this relationship, and it seemed consistently frustrating whenever there was a meeting. Looking at it now, it seemed to have gone in reverse. The beginning was so fast, close as atoms, talking non-stop...to barely even knowing what was going on in the other's life with the most awkward communication, like trying to translate the robot dance to Morse code.
After realizing that I'd achieved my goal, of saying goodbye, I've been melancholy. Not that I made the wrong decision, because I don't believe I did. Maybe I would see this person again. But more that I accepted that I wouldn't. I don't accept these things lightly, particularly when it's not done in a malicious nature. I've been down, but not regretful or anxious. I think it was one of the few times that saying goodbye felt right, even--and I never liked that notion.
As I drove home and thought back over the time that has spanned, it was like reading chapters of a book backwards, and the closed ending was the beginning. I saw the dust of the old story rising when I shut it, and I mentally placed it on a shelf with some other stories that weren't as thick volumes. It had been a good read, but rather bland toward the end. Not nearly as exciting as I'd predicted when it was first picked up, when it had started with so much promise. The adventure turned stale, perhaps boring.
Not everything quoted from this book will be considered noteworthy. Some may even need reminding what it was important. But it was worth the read, I decided. I was glad to have gone with it, even if the cover wasn't necessarily what I was used to.
But, now? It's time for a new book with a new chapter that could quite possibly go on forever. And I'm even okay if it doesn't.