Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weekend Update: Temporary Goodbyes

I'm back at school and thought I would share something that's not often mentioned: temporary goodbyes are sometimes the most difficult.

It sounds completely insane, because any sensible person would realize that the temporary part means that there will be a future reunion. However, the open-ended nature of a temporary goodbye leaves more of a grey-area abyss while the permanent goodbye solidly closes the door. The permanent goodbye, with its grimace-inducing finality, actually facilitates a quicker recovery. Since it's permanent, things aren't going to change, and you therefore accept the reality quite quickly.

The temporary goodbye often includes the phrase, "I'll see you soon," and rarely (at least in my collegiate experience) has a definite future date for being reunited. There is an estimation: perhaps two week, maybe if things get crazy two months, and that indefinite nature is practically impossible. How do you look forward to something like a heartfelt return home when you can't write down the date in your calendar?

Let's face it: seeing someone soon is hardly consolation when they are driving away with the car rearview mirror-obscuringly packed.

When my friend moved to Texas, we kind of just faced the music knowing in our heart of hearts that our teahouse chats were pretty much over. When I leave home after a lengthy, lazy vacation, it feels like my body is actually being ripped from the house unwillingly. I don't know if I'll be home Friday or Saturday and that little vagueness is annoying and difficult.

Instead of having time to recover after a final, permanent goodbye, temporary goodbyes leave everyone in kind of hello/goodbye limbo. This volleying back and forth, home and school, saying see you soon what feels like seconds after saying it's so good to see you! is harder.

And so when I left for spring semester, it was significantly tougher to say my temporary goodbyes because the moment you say them, there's anticipation for the non-established (but implied) reunion. Call it weakness, call it metathesiophobia; the temporary goodbye pulls at your heartstrings a little harder than the good old permanent goodbye.

Photo via Instagram

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