Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Long Goodbye

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”  - Jimmy Dean
I love to sail.  In fact, it was talking about sailing and the difference between windsurfing (board sailing) and boat sailing that started the relationship between myself and my fiance, Jerry.  And, when I stop to think about some of my favorite quotes, a lot of them have to do with sailing, the wind, yet unknown journeys, etc.  I came across this quote today while helping Jerry to write a farewell message to all of his windsurfing and kite surfing buddies on their message board.
I always hate this part.  I hate saying good-bye.  Because to me, it's a new journey, a new adventure.  It's not supposed to be an end, but a new beginning.  I blame my mother for instilling in me a sense of wanderlust, and she takes all the credit she can because she has the same spirit.  We always want to be "going somewhere." 
We plan vacations months in advance.  We talk about where we'll go, and what we'll see.  If it's to a new place, we'll research and read, plan for tours and find side trips.  We're the type of people who need vacations from their vacations because, for us, it's never going somewhere to relax, it's going somewhere for the sake of going, exploring, being able to say, "Yes, I was there."  There's a new show on the Travel Channel, "1000 Places to See Before You Die."  Kinda like that.
And, this sense of exploration carries over into my every day life.  If this blog is any indication, it shows that I can't seem to be in one place for any length of time before I am looking for that next place.  While most people freak out about moving and getting set up in a new town, I relish in the adventure of finding new places, trying new restaurants, and just the excitement of the new people I will meet along the way.
While packing, I came across my "personal box" which has cards and letters, postcards and scraps of paper with the namesof people that I have met in my many moves.  From college in San Diego, to pre-med at Cal State Fullerton, to med school in Wisconsin, my internship in Chicago, junior fellowship in Boston, surgery residency in Minnesota and in between.  So many hellos;  so many goodbyes.
Which brings us back to the goodbyes; this part I hate.  I've been saying a lot of goodbyes over the last week.  Getting phone numbers and email addresses;  wondering whom I'll actually really keep in touch with.  Granted, I think I have a better than average track record when it comes to keeping in touch with people.  Email has made bridging the distance gap so much easier.  Now, for the most part, at least once or twice a year I "catch up" on all my contacts, and I hear what's happening in their lives.
So for now I am off again.  Turning my sail once more to where the wind is taking me.... and, when I arrive, I am sure there will be some new "hellos" to greet me.
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for." - G. Hopper

1 comment:

onejoehill said...

I was just going through my old emails when I came across your blog.  Saying good bye is always hard for me too.  In fact, I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to do it.  Maybe that is why I stay put.  Take care, hope to see you soon!
Joe Hill