Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part
I'm sitting in a Panera Bread all alone with my thoughts and laptop on a mission to waste time and get out of the sun and my non-air-conditioned car. I drove down to Grand Rapids today in order to say goodbye to good friends and run a few errands. On my drive, it really hit me how much I am going to miss those closest to me while I am away. I always knew that it would be hard to leave everyone for a year, but that grief just slapped me in the face. I left my house in a cheery mood after drinking coffee with my mother (one of our favorite things to do together). As we talked, I kept looking at my dog and thinking how much I would miss this time with my mom and my sweet dog, Oliver. I drove away thinking that in just one week and two days I will be saying goodbye for a much longer period of time. I then thought of everyone else I will really miss: the kids I babysit, my parents, my closest friends, my dogs, and even my brothers. It is going to be hard, but I know that I have to go and follow the path my heart so longs to walk. One year will fly by, especially in Paris. Perhaps I'll even get a visit from some of the people I love so much. Last year when I returned from Paris, I experienced this same grief. My heart is being pulled in two directions... two directions which happen to be an ocean apart. Even as my tears flowed silently during that drive, I never second-guessed my decision to venture abroad.