How to Say Goodbye (or why everything is temporary)

I used to find it hard to say goodbye; I disliked change. I collected stuff and hobbies and people and had a life full of commitments. I had to keep investing time in maintaining these things. I spent my money on that stuff, I worked for that crap and at one point I’d even needed some of that shit. I had to keep practising that hobby because that was the routine, that’s what I did, that was who I was. How would people be able to label me if they didn’t think of me as the guy who did that?

If you were to lose everything, you wouldn’t miss most of it. All those possessions, they’re just stuff. At some point you realise that the things you love aren’t things. Realising this makes stuff a lot easier to say goodbye to. Hobbies and your job are harder to leave; walking away from something you have invested so much time and effort into feels like such a waste. In the grand scheme of things, everything we do counts as wasted time anyway, so why not change direction?

People say life is about what you do, not what you own; I’d argue life is about who you spend it with. Unfortunately, one of the sad inevitabilities of life is this: we are all alone. It’d be nice to think you’d have the same people in your life forever, but everyone will let you down in the end. People change, or you change, or what one of you wants changes. If that doesn’t happen then someone fucks up and lets the other person down one way or another. It only takes one person to hold a grudge to destroy any hope of repair. And, even if you manage to get past all those things, as with everything in life, even the best people die in the end. The brief connections we form with those we love are as transient as anything else.

Life would be much simpler if we stopped overcomplicating things and accepted that everything is temporary. I’m not pretending it’s easy to say goodbye to what you own, what you do and who you know, but there are times when you have to get rid of your excess luggage and move on. Just because they were what you needed in the past doesn’t mean they are what you need now, the past is only preparation for the present. We’d all be much happier running around naked anyway.

Sometimes, you have to give up to go forward. They say you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, but trying something new beats waiting on things that’ll never be, and in my experience so many goodbyes are temporary anyway.

So, for now at least, this is goodbye. So long and thanks for all the adventures.