It’s official. I’m moving back to my hometown at the end of the month. I’m possibly going to live with my parents. I have a temporary job, so I do have a plan at least until I get a more permanent position.
Which means: it’s another season of goodbyes. Saying goodbye is hard. Maybe I’m overly sentimental. Maybe I place too much importance on human connections; (that’s what my sisters will tell you.) But not saying goodbye is even worse. It feels like leaving the operating room after the surgery but with the wounds still gaping open.
One reason hard thing about moving out of the Catholic Worker house was that it seems so impersonal. I never got to talk to my housemates about it. Their attitude was: We thought you were happy and cared for, but we guess you weren’t. And that was hard. I mailed goodbye cards to each of them. That helped some. But today I got a card from one of the girls. And that helped a lot. Dialogue really matters because relationships go both ways. Saying goodbye to a rock just isn’t the same. The note was a combination apology, goodbye, and well wishes. You know, our personalities were destined to combust at some point (if we had lived together longer.) We are just very different people. My letter to her was one of the hardest to write. So it meant a lot to me that she was the one who wrote back. Because that couldn’t have been easy for her either.
On a different note, I’ve started saying goodbye to my medical practitioners. With some of them, it’s been really professional and rather easy. My gynecologist? I spent probably less than half an hour with him my total time here. So when I told him that I was moving, he said, Oh. That’s too bad that grad school didn’t work out. But I guess you moved here for grad school so there’s no real reason to stay, right? Well, be sure to tell your next gynecologist ____ about your case. See? Easy peasy.
Some other practitioners? Not quite so simple. I spent a long time talking to Dr. Mark about leaving and transferring my care to my next location. He told me a lot about the way he understands my case, my personality, and my needs. We talked about short-term options, long-term options, strategies for finding new physicians, and overall goals. It wasn’t sad per se, but we definitely took a moment to recognize the ending of an era and the beginning of a new season.
And I’ve got a whole bunch more in the next two weeks!! For the girl who “doesn’t have any friends here”, there sure are a lot of people to say goodbye to!
P.S. A preview of a farewell present for someone: