Admittedly, I am a fan of dramatic songs. Those that have big finishes, think Whitney, Celine, Bocelli…and I loved “Time to Say Goodbye,” no matter who sang it, Celine, Celine with Bocelli, Bocelli alone, Bocelli with Sarah Brightman. At one point I had all those versions in my iTunes, not kidding. But that title also captures something that I’ve been thinking about, saying goodbye.
It’s not as simple as it would seem, I’ve realized. So, I have willpower. I can “say goodbye” to some things pretty easily, like chocolate, except with chocolate, we end up saying hello again pretty often too. There are a couple ways to say goodbye, I think. With a habit, for example, you say goodbye to it by simply stopping. There may be transition, but eventually you make the shift and you’ve removed it from your normal routine. People though are a little trickier. On the one hand, you physically say goodbye to someone. You may or may not be sad to say goodbye but it’s a physical act. You might hug, you might cry, you might say see you later, or you might say good riddance. It really depends on what kind of relationship you have and the reasons behind saying goodbye. It could be temporary, or it could be forever.
After you physically say goodbye to someone, you may not see them anymore, but you might continue to have thoughts about them. The thoughts could be warm and fuzzy, they could be angry, or they could be distracting. When we think back on someone we’ve said goodbye to, I think it’s not uncommon for our minds to swirl a bit. The positive things become more positive and the negatives get worse. But what happens in our head isn’t actually reality, it’s just our thoughts and feelings about reality. Yes, you may have had a good or negative experience with someone. You may have loved them, they may have loved you or you may have been hurt by them. But when our minds swirl (ok, when my mind swirls) those positives or negatives become larger than life. The thoughts can be consuming, distracting, and they can case you (again…me) to get stuck. It’s the quicksand.
What I’ve figured out in all my ponderings, and yes, there are a lot of ponderings…is that I have to mentally say goodbye. I have to say goodbye to a person or situation in my head. I can acknowledge all that it’s been to me, but I have to say goodbye. It’s a lot harder to do that sometimes that to physically say goodbye. I can’t just drive away from my thoughts. I have to make choices (geez, lots of those lately). Saying goodbye in my mind is letting go of that person that has occupied so much of my thought life. Saying goodbye makes room for other things that belong in my life. Saying goodbye also keeps me from creating a different version of reality than what may have actually happened. From creating a more negative or positive version. It puts to rest what actually was, calls it done. Frees me from the swirl, from the quicksand.
So with this kind of goodbye, there is no dramatic finish, no crescendo, no flair. Really only I know about it, and that’s ok. It’s goodbye but it’s also hello to everything that could be.