As I stand in front of the glass wall and look out at the plane I will soon board, I am struck with the feeling that I’ve forgotten something. Was there a task I was supposed to complete before this trip today? Someone I forgot to contact? My mind quickly runs through a mental photobook of familiar faces. People I’ve met since first setting foot inside Houston. I begin to reminisce about friends and places older than this immediate situation. Where are they now? My blond, freckled neighbor in Arizona, who would make dirt pies with me in my backyard? That classmate in Japan who loved Dragonball Z and transferred schools with me? My friend Diana, whom I met in Turkey and who skipped school to see me off at the airport when my family and I left for D.C? What about my ex-clubmates from San Antonio who I’d lost touch with? Are they well? Thanks to social media I can get in touch with just about anyone from my past, but on that shuttle to Houston’s IAH terminal, I find I’m reminding myself we are no longer friends.
I’ve accepted the concept of growing apart. My old friends and I, we are all more like acquaintances now. We shared a momentary joining of life lines, however, our distances have grown too great. It makes it hard to successfully introduce those old faces to anyone currently involved in my life.
As I’m boarding, I have a second odd feeling. It is a need to let my friends from the past go, to stop trying to hold on. It’s both an unsettling and a comforting thought. Every person comes into your life for a reason, whether good or bad. Was that all the time I’ll get to spend with them? Have I really received a lesson from them within the allotted time? Whether the answer is yes or no, I know I don’t really have control over how long I can be with someone anyway. So, I’ll say goodbye, and with this plane ride, I’ll travel into the future and into another new beginning.
“Goodbye to an old self. I let go of the friends I left behind. Should I, or they, return, then let us celebrate anew,” I tell myself.
“Goodbye to our current chapter, and good luck to us as we progress into the next. May our life stories bring us closer to fulfilment and peace.”
“Goodbye to failed attempts, moments and relationships that never came to fruition. Let’s make way for opportunities ahead.”
Most importantly, I tell myself, “Let’s not look back on these memories as wasted effort. Let’s be strong because of them.”
Out with the old and in with the new. I will cherish every person that I meet, but this is the only tough skin I possess. With a deep breath, I’m ready to fly.