September 23rd, 2008


LJ Idol week 1: Saying Goodbye

When I was in college, one of my best friends didn’t believe in saying goodbye. He felt that it was unnecessary, and much easier to just disappear from a gathering. It could be awkward for those of us who were still at a party, looking for him wondering where he went. While I understand why Ian would prefer to just walk away I’ve come to the conclusion that he was wrong. Goodbyes are an important part of social interaction.
Of course goodbyes come in different intensities. There are simple ones - saying goodbye to my boyfriend this morning as he was on his way to work with a kiss and verifying who was making first contact at the end of the day. There are more complex ones – ending a relationship with someone you once loved, or still love who once loved you. There are the goodbyes that never really stop, and goodbyes that only matter for an instant. But goodbyes are needed.
Just as every story needs a beginning, middle, and end; every personal interaction needs a conclusion, or at least a pause. I still struggle with this because there are certainly times that I would love to slip away instead of acknowledging someone I don’t particularly like. But I am not the only person involved in that goodbye. And they might need the closure even if I could forego it. Now that doesn’t mean I have to match their mushiness, or stay too long. I remember how I felt when Ian would disappear without saying anything: sad, uncared for, and unimportant. I know that I don’t ever want to intentionally make someone else feel that way. Not even the people I don’t like.
Goodbyes should never be ignored. They may be unpleasant but they are always vital. And sometimes the ones you are the most scared of turn out to be the most perfect of all. 

**This is my entry for Week One of LJ Idol on the topic of "saying goodbye".  I will post a link to the poll when it goes live.  Thanks for reading.**