BY TRISH ROONEY

 

Goodbyes are some of the hardest things to say or do. Whether it’s to an ex, an ex-friend, your housemates that get to move out for the summer before you’ve finished exams, or the city you call home for eight months of the year. To put it simply: goodbyes suck. Goodbyes of any caliber just suck. Maybe it’s a weird choice to be writing about goodbyes for my first piece for MUSE online 2018/2019. However, I’ve always found that saying goodbye leaves a space for something else to say hello.

Something comes with spring, and the ending of the school year, that leaves people open to more hellos than goodbyes. Even though Kingston ends up in the rear-view mirror and, upon reflection of the year as a whole, some people or things that were once comfortable may have been left behind, spring brings an air of change that revitalizes people. There is a reason spring cleaning is so popular.

Goodbyes need to happen so that we can move on, even if it’s hard at first. A clean palette and a fresh start leave us open to pushing ourselves and our boundaries. It causes us to try something new, revive something we’d forgotten before, or recreate something that we want to try again. Goodbyes and hellos are two sides of the same coin.

In second year, I said goodbye to a lot: friends, exes, the make-up that’s been taking up space on my vanity since the ninth grade (as a side note, did anyone else not know eyeshadow went bad? Maybe my next contribution will be about the fact that no one ever tells you that eyeshadow goes bad). But I got to say hello too: I rediscovered how much I liked writing, I started working with MUSE, I learned to cook, I explored Kingston. I pulled a regular Eat Pray Love from the comfort of university. Personally, it’s been a successful year. I believe it is one that is quintessentially almost-adult. The balance of new and old, accepting and getting rid of, moving on and starting, is one that I think this age is made to embrace.

But now second year is done, in and of itself a goodbye, and it’s time to think about the hellos that I want to open myself too, and chose to create, moving forward. I don’t want to talk about goal setting, or planning, or any of that (more of that will come in our Lifestyle section). I think it’s more about the acceptance of starting fresh, and leaving yourself open, or more open than you have been in the past. Maybe that does, for you, involve writing it down, or drawing it out, or maybe something else, but I think it starts first with this mental shift.

The acceptance of goodbye is hard. Really hard. Sometimes it’s a relief, but as human beings, we like to keep things with us, we like the safety of things not changing, or we like things being settled. Goodbyes end that pattern and remove something that was once routine from the new reality we’re creating. But once you accept the goodbye as not being the end of the world, just the end of a pattern, hellos are there and waiting. Hellos are scary because they are the start of a new pattern, one that could be difficult to start or sustain. But hey, at least it’s worth a shot.

In the new volume of MUSE online, we’re starting fresh. So, hello from us, and welcome.