Lately, I have been thinking about goodbyes. You know, what with leaving my home of two years and all.
First of all, let me say about goodbyes... I hate them. I absolutely hate them. Saying goodbye exacerbates the awful, inevitable pains that go along with the separation of a person from another person, place, or thing. Separation already hurts enough without making a show of it. To me, saying goodbye emphasizes an reoccurring and unavoidable shittyness I have to deal with every few years or so. It feels like somebody taking a fat, neon yellow highlighter to the saddest parts in the story of my life.
Although, it is clear that I dislike goodbyes, I want you to understand that I can and do appreciate the function of a goodbye. Goodbyes function as a tangible form of closure. Without a proper uh-buh-bye-now, people often feel like they were left hanging. Like there was so much left unsaid and undone. Like they want to say, “Oh, but-but-but???” Goodbyes function as the cap on the bottle, the Z to the alphabet, the caboose on the train. They allow for a clean cut at the end. The separation to be total. Finality, you might say. I understand and appreciate that most people want and need that closure.
[[ For example... how many people have you ever heard lamenting their need for “closure" with an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend? ]]
Which brings me to my next point, that this is all a bit unfortunate, because my opinion is the exact opposite. I actively want and like to leave doors left open. I want to leave loose ends untied. In my opinion, you never know when your life might take a turn back to where has been once before. And if that does happen, wouldn't you want somebody there to say, “OMG, where the heck have you been??” I want to leave things unsaid, so I can say them in the future. I do not like the finality of a goodbye. I like to think that if I like a person, place, or thing enough, I will see them again sooner or later.
On a related note, in the Ghanaian Twi language, there is no word or words for good bye. Only “Me kɔ aba,” which translates directly to “I am going to come.” In other words, I am leaving now, only to return later. There just isn't a translation for "good bye." And you know what, I like that. I like that a whole lot. I wish all goodbyes were just a casual “see ya later.”
An obvious introspective question... If I hate goodbyes so much, then why the hell do I move so much? I left Indiana to go to college on the East Coast. I left Australia after studying at James Cook. I left Philly with a degree from Penn. I left the horse ranch when the season was over. I left Indiana again to go into the Peace Corps in West Africa. Now I am leaving Ghana to go back to America. But every time I do this, every time I move, it feels like I have ripped out a little piece of my heart.
Every time I move, the place I am leaving feels personal and comfortable. And the place I going, obscure and unknown. Am I a commitment-phobe? To a place, to a home? Or is it just to the excitement of unknown places and people that I am so addicted. I think it is both. I think in the modern world, we are so encouraged to travel, experience the world, broaden our horizons, and open our eyes, that I became obsessed with it. I think I am driven to stay on the move by the notion that it is the road to wisdom. It is the road to being a cool person, who listens to bands you've never heard of, and takes pictures of elephants and the Sphinx... and posts it all on Facebook. Alright, alright, that was a side-rant, but you get my point, right? That being “a citizen of the world” is not only cool, but the only way to be enlightened about.... Well, life!
I don't think that my wanting to see the world is a bad or unhealthy thing for my person... It's just, it sorta conflicts with some stuff. (A) It conflicts with my love of my family, all of whom are located in Southern Indiana and (B) my plan to marry the man of my dreams and make a bunch of babies. Oh and don't forget the cute house with the white picket fence.
Alright, well, this is rambling, and I just got really hungry, so I have to go now.
Look at me... I hate endings so much that I am not even going to finish my post. Ugh, ain't I just the worst!