Friday, May 11, 2007

Hellos and Goodbyes

Written over the Pacific, posted in Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan - the Land of the Rising Sun

This past year felt like a year and that means that tells me that this year was worthwhile. At this stage of my life, if things seem to go really fast, then chances are I’m having a little too much sophmoric activity and not enough of times that have some real introspection. On the other hand, if things go too slowly, things have either gotten mundane or I’ve gone into brooding mode. No, this year has actually felt like a year, and that’s a good thing.

I’m typing this 37000 feet from the ground, and I think that gives some literary license to be a little flighty as I think about the hellos I’m about to be able to say when I land, as well as the goodbyes that I’ve made in the past couple of days. I’m thankful in a way that I have old friendships that don’t necessitate a day-to-day upkeep, not because I don’t think it’s worth the effort but quite frankly that I barely have enough time to sleep in my graduate studies. It’s nice to know my friendships are able of withstanding a little autopilot, and it's also nice to be able to get back behind the wheel.

What’s been a little surprising are the goodbyes – to some of the new friends I’ve made in the past year who are graduating and going back to places like Taiwan and Columbia, and who, in all reality, I may never meet again, at least not in person. I was at first a little concerned that I might not have been able to see a good friend before getting on my plane, but then thought that even if that were the case it’s not as important to be able to say goodbye as it has been important that the time we spent creating a friendship... a friendship that made the initial concern for a goodbye worthwhile.

Luckily I was able to get the last minute meeting, and it ended off with my friend having one of his always poignant philosophical moments. As he walked away from my house, he turned back, saying, “Take care of yourself. Take care of the people you love. And most importantly, love many people.”

Now that’s a goodbye that stays as a hello.

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