So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Goodbye started out as “God be with ye” and Farewell was once “Fare thee well.” They all mean the same thing: I hope everything goes well with you until I see you again. Such fond wishes take the finality out of leaving. When Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered his famous “I’ll be back,” it might not have had that same desire for another’s well-being that you get from a simple “Goodbye,” but he did give voice to the second part of the farewell wish – until we meet again.

I’ve been wondering why I’m not more upset about saying goodbye to people and places that have grown very dear to me over the past fifteen years.  Part of my reaction is certainly due to the expectation of what is about to happen. The appeal of the destination in front of me overshadows the sadness of leaving what is behind. But I also think there’s something to be said for recognizing that, as I wrote last week, walking through a door doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lock it behind you. I’m not burning any bridges here.

I’ll be back.

God be with you until we meet again.

Now, please excuse me while I go pack another box.

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