Saying goodbye sucks.
And I am truly horrible at it. I never know what to say, so I'm always just like "bye!" Then, after it's too late, I realize how much I'm going to miss the person and feel terrible because the last thing I said to them was "bye."
Seriously? "Bye?" That's the best I can come up with? Yeah, I sure care a lot...I care sooooo much that I gave you a whole syllable! Aren't you special.
Today was full of goodbyes. Actually, this whole month has been full of goodbyes. Most of them bittersweet. But the bad thing about bittersweet, is that you're too focused on the bitter to think about the sweet.
Have you ever taken a bite of bittersweet chocolate? It's extremely disappointing. Chocolate is a wonderful, rich treat that few people dislike. I, personally, am a huge chocoholic. One time, I found a huge bar of chocolate in my pantry. I gasped in excitement. I unwrapped it, anxiously awaiting taking my first bite. Then I took my bite. And I immediately spit it out.
It was bittersweet chocolate. I was expecting to taste the same sort of heavenly goodness that chocolate normally has. But instead, I got something bland and quite flavorless. I have not eaten bittersweet chocolate since. (Unless you count dark chocolate, in which case, yes, I have.)
That's how goodbyes are for me. Usually when I have to say goodbye, it's because people are going on to bigger and better things. For example, graduation was last week. And for the most part, it was a happy event. But at the same time, it was the closest I've ever been to crying at a graduation. Even though I only had two friends in the graduating class, this was the closest I've ever been to a senior class. I realized how much I was going to miss going to school next year with those two friends. I realized I was going to have to say goodbye.
Today, I had to say goodbye to a lot of people. Well, two, to be exact. But there would have been a lot more, had I seen them. Almost every guy in my youth group is leaving town in the morning to go to a summer training program at a ranch at some undisclosed location. Well, I don't think the location is actually undisclosed...but I don't know where it is and it sounds cooler to say that. Anyway, they're going to be gone for three weeks. I will not see any of them for THREE WEEKS. That's like an eternity, people.
Ok, so three weeks doesn't feel like an eternity when it's three weeks until school starts. It flies by. But it feels like an eternity when it's three weeks until Christmas, three weeks until your birthday, or three weeks without seeing a good 50% of your friends.
I only saw two of my friends today. Therefore I only got to say goodbye to two of them. But honestly, I can't handle another goodbye. I hate saying goodbye. I just don't think I could do it three times in one day.
It's bittersweet because I know they're going to have a great time and ultimately it's going to have a lasting impact on their lives. It's going to help shape them and help them grow spiritually, mentally, and physically. It's going to test them. It's going to challenge them. They're going to learn so much.
But it's hard to focus on that when some of my best friends are leaving me. For three weeks. And the worst part is, all I said was "bye."
I had so many things planned out that I could have said. But I couldn't do it. It's like the growing excitement of eating a chocolate bar, only to take your first bite and discover that it has no flavor. I had expectations of giving these "flavorful" goodbyes. Then I said them, and they were bland and boring.
I'm writing this in case any of my friends who are leaving in the morning decide to stop by before they go. I doubt they will, but just in case, I wanted to say goodbye. The right way. I can say way more through writing than I have ever been able to say in words. This is just easier.
I hope you guys have a fantastic time at SWEAT. I know y'all will learn and grow so much during your time there. It probably won't seem like it now, but you won't regret it. It will definitely not be the same around here without the guys. :-) I think I speak for all of us staying at home when I say that you will for sure be missed. But, we'll see you all in three weeks. And I can't speak for everyone on this point, but I personally want to hear every detail of the trip when you guys get back. And by every detail...I mean every detail. You know, except the secret guy stuff that I wouldn't understand. That you can keep to yourself. ;-)
Have a fantastic three weeks, boys.