Saying goodbye sucks.
So I usually avoid it.
Saying goodbye sucks and although I would love to avoid it, it’s inevitable and sometimes I just have to pony up and do it.
It seems as though this stage in life has been filled with quite a few goodbyes and quite frankly, I want a new change of pace. Growing up and doing life sometimes requires leaving the familiar places and the familiar people; it brings new friends who stay for long or some who only stay for a nice acquaintance…it sucks, but it’s oh so necessary.
But then, I came to Ghana and The Justice School happened.
Right when I thought I was content in life and I had said my goodbyes for the season, I met a whole new set of 10 amazing people.
For those of you who have never experienced a youth camp, being a leader for a retreat, or any other leadership experience involving bonding with strangers, you may not fully appreciate the impact that these short-term best friends make on your life.
Saying goodbye to best friends is probably the worst goodbye a person will have to ever face, but saying goodbye to a group of people who just recently walked into your life and then so quickly walked out is a weird feeling.
I spent weeks messaging and emailing this group of strangers trying to figure out who they are and then once Ghana hit and The Justice School commenced, the 24 hour a day interactions turned these strangers into family.
We ate together, we woke up early and stayed up late together, we made fools of ourselves and observed as others did the same. We had deep conversations and gossiped about the events of the night huddled together on the balcony. Games were played, coffee & debrief was a thing, songs were sung, killers was played, and all throughout these events, we bonded. We became a group of leaders rather than 11 leaders placed in one room.
We worked together and it was one of the greatest experienced we could have had this summer. But instead of going back home and picking up where we left off, reality set in and I realized that we don’t have the opportunity to do that. Our “camp high” will hit its low right when we departed to our respective flights at the airport on Monday.
That feeling, that goodbye, sucks.
Saying goodbye to someone when there is still so much time to say hello is weird. It doesn’t feel fair to me that these relationships are being cut short before most of them really fully took flight.
I am excited for all of us. I am excited for the paths we will be taking at home and for the whole new set of strangers we will meet and call our friends. As excited as I am, I didn’t expect to be this taken back by how bummed I feel.
I know that if it’s worth it, we will stay in touch. I know that as time passes, it will get harder and harder to do just that. I know that as weird as these goodbyes may feel, I have a trip full of memories to keep me stoked on these people.
Saying goodbye sucks. But the people you are saying goodbye to make it totally worth it.
Thanks to my Justice School family -let’s not become too estranged, ya?
To those of us out there having to say goodbye: good friends, acquaintances, best friends and family, or even those people who just came to say hello, Goodnight and Goodluck.