Goodbye in any language still requires that we mean it.

My mother could have very easily done the job for me. Taken the stairs by two up to my bedroom and stuffed the party dresses and old dance costumes into a black plastic bag. The array of peach-colored satin and sequined headpieces would serve as a cushion to the teddy bears and dolls that would soon join them. She could have dropped my childhood into a Salvation Army box and left me to deal with the remains. Dolls That No Longer Whispered Secrets To Me. Dresses That Never Again Allowed Me To Believe I Was The Queen Of Home Depot.

We all know what it is like to throw something out. To go through a pain-staking process of spring cleaning. To purge our lives of past collections of old shoes, movie memorabilia, and Pokemon cards to start fresh. Newer. Older. Wiser.

Imagine if our bedrooms and houses never needed to be ridded of their clutter, if we were able to become socially acceptable hoarders. Would we turn to play with those Legos with our morning coffee? Would we acknowledge the Raggedy Ann Dolls and kiss the heads of our Polly Pockets before we headed off to work? Probably not. We make the decision to let things go when we realize we have outgrown them, that they no longer serve a purpose to us besides the one that sits dusty (but preserved) in our memory.

We accept the fact that we need to let certain things go, but then we shudder to think about the same process applied to people. Cutting Ties With People Who We Have Outgrown. Who No Longer Serve A Purpose.

It is hard to say for certain how we can ever really be sure that we need to let someone in our lives go, to cut a weak tie that no one has the energy to thread any longer. But I think its just like that bedroom, full of toys and dresses and wooden blocks that we have long stopped playing with. Eventually we need to accept that some conversations will never take us anywhere. Some interactions will hinder us more than help us. Some people will keep us rooted in the past so much that we forget we even cared to look to the future.

When we hold on to people for too long, their purpose well having served itself, we lose track of New Doors Opening. New Faces. New Laughs. New Hands. New Insights. New Challenges. New Pet Peeves. The New Newness of Meeting Someone New. And that would be a shame to miss out on, simply because our bedrooms are too full of our childhoods and our hearts are too full of people we don’t have the courage to let go of.

I will never forget learning it for myself the day my mother told me that I needed to “get rid of some things.” How dare she call them things, I thought, they are my life. My Happiness. My Universe. But as I put on my aqua blue princess dress with the ruffles that allowed me to float like a cloud, I suddenly understood her suggestion. (I) The material no longer fit the same way. (Don’t) The leotard inside was stretched and uncomfortable. (Fit) The shoulder sleeves that once puffed let out a sigh of exasperation. (You) My princess dress looked more like Cinderella, post-ball, post-wrestling match with some ugly step-sisters. (Anymore) I had grown out of it and was accepting it for the first time.

It is much easier to accept this truth with “things.” We rarely ever accept it with people. We rarely ever tell another that there is only one more “goodbye” left in our path, and no more “hello”s. Because its too hard. Because we want to convince ourselves that we can hold onto every human being that we cross paths with. That will never do though. Which is why we must make the hard effort on our own. To Cut The Tie. To Bid Farewell (and this time really mean it).

I wish I could say that I know every star that is meant to sit up in my night sky. But I don’t. Some have not been named yet. Others are there one day and gone the next. But that is the joy and the beauty of this lifetime, that we encounter new individuals on a daily basis and some of them change us. Not All For The Better. But All For Good.

But we must make the proper accomodations for new people in our lives. So that when they arrive we are ready for them and we have a spot for them, just as we once made room for new toys and new dresses. If our lives our too cluttered, our worlds too jumbled with people whose purpose’ have faded, we risk someone new walking in only to walk out for lack of room.

And I dare say it, I don’t want to miss that chance encounter. That New Face. That New Laugh. That New Newness of Meeting Someone New.

21 thoughts on “Goodbye in any language still requires that we mean it.

  1. This is really beautiful, Hannah. My mom told me once I had to get rid of my childhood toys as well. I was kind of bummed. I do keep my old journals and those pretty little organizers. The ones where your old friends wrote cute stuff in? Ah, the memories.

    1. Ha Andhari, I have some of that stuff saved as well. It is too funny to look back and see some of the ridiculous notes people wrote me or messages in my old year books.


      Hannah Katy

  2. Yes, your writing is beautiful in its entirety. I’m not sure how, but it seems you are addressing specific things that I’m facing in my life right now. Things and people that don’t fit must be taken out so that there is room for the new. But Spring Cleaning should come with a complimentary therapist don’t you think?

    1. I totally agree! Life would be a lot easier if it did.. I am also in the same process of making room.. Not the easiest of tasks as I am sure you know.


      Hannah Katy

  3. I didn’t clean out my bedroom as much as I should have when I graduated from college… It wasn’t until I was engaged and moving my things into an apartment that I was going to move into with my hubby that I realized I had to let go. Had to let go of a stuffed, floppy-eared dog; had to let go of the frilly, pink pillows on my bed; had to let go of some knick-knacks fit for a little princess. I had out-grown then years ago, but they were comfortable and familiar. It was SO hard giving away or throwing out those things. Now, I don’t even think about them and –you’re right — sometimes you have to give up the old to welcome the new. But I just wanted to cry when I was going through it. It’s hard to say goodbye!

  4. Oh man… I remember when my parents gave my cousin all my old My Little Ponies and Barbie dolls and I was so sad. I kept thinking, “But what if I want to give them to my daughter one day??”

    I made sure they kept all my old books though because I am so hopeful my kids will one day want to read them. Plus I have a thing about keeping old books.

    Man it’s hard to grow up sometimes!

    1. I used to think the same thing Krysten! Even with old clothes… But I would have been a 5 star hoarder if I kept all that stuff around.. Yikes.


      Hannah Katy

  5. It’s so true. I loved where you talked about realizing some conversations will never get us anywhere, etc. I know the feeling. I just realized the other day that I was looking for support or understanding in all the wrong places. It’s also true that we have to clear our space of people and things in order to welcome lovelier things into our lives. Why hold onto someone that isn’t good to us? It makes it so that the good ones have no space to fit in. I’ve been on a mission to de-clutter my life for the last year. At times it’s hard to let go of some people, but in the end I know I will create amazing bonds with people who match where I am at, bonds that will last and be positive as I grow older.

    1. You are so right. I have come to the same realizations lately, hence the post. And I think sometimes we are stubborn to let go of old things because we think that they are the best things… but life has a way of proving us quite wrong.


      Hannah Katy

  6. This post is riddled with sage-like wisdom. Most of us never come to this realization. I actually had an epiphany similar to this earlier in the week, and it’s kind of a nice feeling to let go.

    1. I know I am certainly better for coming to the realization, and I bet you feel the same way. I am learning a lot these days that sometimes the hardest things to do and the right things are one in the same.


      Hannah Katy

  7. I love this post. I’ve been struggling with some of the people in my life lately, apparently wedding planning brings out the worst in some people. It’s been so difficult for me to realize that no matter how many conversations I have with this someone, they’re never going to change. And there’s nothing I can do but accept that that’s who they are and that they will most likely gradually fade out of my life because of it.

    1. Very true Nicole, very true. At some point we stop fighting to try to level with a person or change them and just accept the fact that we are two different people… I have experienced that quite a lot.. Good luck with the wedding planning as well! Hope it is all coming along!


      Hannah Katy

  8. I’ve been struggling with this for some time now – knowing when to let certain people go. I hate losing people in general, and it’s much harder to accept the loss of someone when you CHOOSE to let them go.

    But I agree:

    “Eventually we need to accept that some conversations will never take us anywhere. Some interactions will hinder us more than help us. Some people will keep us rooted in the past so much that we forget we even cared to look to the future.”

    In trying to find my road to happiness, I realize that I have hung onto a lot of friendships that are going nowhere. Or I’ve held onto friends who I thought were good for me, and in reality, they are toxic. It’s a wake-up call when you realize that someone you consider a good friend is really quite the opposite.

    Another amazing post, lady. Thank you.


    1. I like the way you put it Kate, “toxic.” And it is really very true… I think I have been in the habit for a very long time of wanting to hold onto every single person that I meet and give them parts of myself, but that won’t get me anywhere. I am feeding a large audience meagerly rather than a small audience abundantly (if that makes any sense). I would much rather focus on the people in my life that are good for me than give my attention to those who hinder me.

      And thank you love. I always adore your comments.


      Hannah Katy

  9. “Eventually we need to accept that some conversations will never take us anywhere. Some interactions will hinder us more than help us. Some people will keep us rooted in the past so much that we forget we even cared to look to the future.”

    So very well put, and I loved the quote, too. Over the last year or so I’ve had to face that decision, to let go of some people – and while at the time it can be painful, if we look at the reasons why it’s happening, we can truly recognise that bigger and better doors are opening. And I am off to check out Nicole’s blog because I feel like we have lots to talk about!! 🙂

    1. Ah I love the prospect of bigger and better doors Emily.. I could not have stated the truth better myself! And you should definitely head over to Nicole’s blog, she is an absolute gem!


      Hannah Katy

  10. It was a sad day when I had to give up my neon green MC HAMMER pants.

    It would be a sadder day if I still had them.

  11. thanks so much for your sweet comment 🙂

    I really like this post. I agree, sometimes conversations get us no where and we have to accept that its okay to move on from situation/people when things aren’t working out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s