L-O-V-E…Four letters. Four simple letters. Two consonants. two vowels. Four letters. I’ve learned a lot about love these past 6 months. I’ve learned a lot about love for people, for words, for places, for things, for memories, for food, for coffee, for myself. I’ve learned that leaving means realizing how much love you carry for a person, a place, or things. And I’ve learned that leaving also means opening your heart to be filled with more love for places, people, and things, even when you have to say goodbye to people, places, and things—even when you have to start leaving people, places, and things behind.
I’ve learned from good friends, that we can’t hold everyone we meet in our hands—or in our lifestyle. We can just keep them in our hearts—bury them deep within the vessels and hope our constant breathing keeps them breathing too…keeps them alive in at least some part of us.
I’ve learned that we can’t expect everyone to stay—and we can’t expect ourselves to stay. I’ve learned that some people do truly come into our lives for a short period of time to leave a mark and then leave very quickly. Some places are meant to feel our weight, take us in, wrap their arms around us like a big teddy bear, and hold us until we are ready to move on. Some things are meant to just have one short conversation with us—one chance to forever impact us—making them a part of us forever—making us a part of them forever.
I’ve learned that goodbyes are never easy…that they come at times that are both unexpected and expected…that they drive us to tears and that they make us worry about the future…that they complicate things—that they mean letting go of one thing in order to be greeted by something new, something completely different, something wonderful. And then soon later, another goodbye will take place. And you’ll move on—just like you did the last time—with tears in your mind—and love in your heart.
You can say goodbye, or see you later, in Italian, in a number of ways…Ciao, Arrivederci, A Presto, A Dopo, Buon giornata…You can wave, kiss on the cheek two times, or give one giant hug. Saying “goodbye” is never easy, and as I boarded my plane home from Rome just two days ago, I said goodbye to a number of things…to a number of people…to a number of places…to a number of cobblestones traveled…to a number of cappuccino drank…to a three month period of time lived in pure joy—I said goodbye to Italy, in every way shape and form. I gave her two kisses on the cheek, said a presto (see you soon), and gave her one giant hug, before waving goodbye from the emergency exit seat 30,000 feet above.
And then with tears in my eyes… I thought, “Hello…--Hello memories, hello good times traveling around the north, hello new inspirations, hello old friends, hello new friends, hello New York City, hello bright lights, red carpets, big dreams, hello reminders of the past, hello opportunity, hello accepting goodbye…hello to the next one.