I have gotten pretty good at saying goodbye. It sounds tragic, but I think we all need to get a little bit better at goodbyes. I have found that people naturally tend to come and go. I went to three different schools from kindergarten to high school. At some point, you realize that you have to let go of the way things used to be and just keep floating.
To use the most cliché metaphor in the book: for me, life is like a river. And no, not because you can’t step in the same one twice. It feels more like I’m on an inflatable raft with no paddle, at the mercy of the waters that carry me from one moment to the next. It’s a very linear understanding of time, but it is helpful when it comes to saying goodbye.
In the past, I have tried to grab branches that hang out over the river and get myself stuck on sandbars just to stay in the same moment for a little while longer. However, I always tend to overstay my welcome this way. The brambles by the water’s edge poke holes in my raft, or the mosquitos eat me alive while I try to stick it out on the sand.
My solution is to just enjoy every patch of sun I float into for the time I am given in it. Every wonderful person I meet I try to cherish while I have them close. And then, when the river says it is over, when it’s time to move along, I tell them how much I have loved my time with them, and I let go.
The river is not unkind. Every once in a while it runs you up against someone you haven’t seen in years and lets you float with them again for a spell. I like to pretend that there was no time between these meetings. Seeing an old friend is like time travel in that way; one moment you’re six years old playing dress-up with your best friend, the next you’re twenty- two drinking margaritas in a college bar — everything and nothing has changed.
To all of my college friends and family, I can’t wait for these moments with you. I cannot wait until life bumps us into each other, and we can laugh, maybe cry a little bit and catch up with each other. For now, I want to thank you for all of your moral and emotional support, your love, and your belief in me. I would specifically like to thank the Exponent staff, my roommate Stephanie and my amazing professors.
To my dear Exponent friends: you have all provided me with so much inspiration and motivation. I would like to thank John, Emily, Liz and Liam specifically. There would be no Exponent without you all. Thank you for being patient with me, laughing with me and being so absolutely brilliant. I know you will all do amazing things.
To Stephanie: what would I do without you to come home to? You know exactly how to cheer me up and when to talk me down. I will miss our movie nights. Thank you for always being there for me.
To my professors: I have learned so much from all of you. I can- not believe how far my writing and research abilities have come since my freshman year. You have all been so patient and encouraging, and I hope each and every one of you know how much value you add to your students’ lives and education.
If any of my Platteville friends and family ever need me in the future or just want to stay in touch, feel free to email me to get my contact info.
I would love to stay in touch to make sure that our paths cross again sooner rather than later. 🙂
I read this poem in the Matched series when I was young, and it feels very fitting for this moment. Take care, friends, and enjoy these words by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:
“Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.”