Family left today. I always hate goodbyes, and a week all together just never seems to be enough. At 7 AM my mom nudged me awake to give everyone a drowsy hug, and once the troop got in their mini van I reclaimed my room to go back to bed. About five hours later I awoke to a very quiet house and even though it was nice to sleep in my bed again I kind of already missed the chaos of having to share a bathroom with six other people.
As a classic extrovert, I crave being around people and when you put a bunch of people I love in one room I go a little crazy. So when people do finally make their exits because people always have to make an exit I begin to deflate. It’s like watching a balloon shoot around the room only to land in a gross pile on the floor. After everyone left so did my energy and my dog Peanut and I have led a pretty lazy Saturday to recover from the lack of people.
I was a faithful viewer of the teen drama known as One Tree Hill. In the town of Tree Hill there lived a character named Peyton Sawyer. Now Peyton has gone through a lot in this show, along with many other characters, and unfortunately due to this tragedy she had a pretty cynical view on people and relationship. She made a comic strip that captured her view in three words, “people always leave.”
It’s not terribly upbeat and doesn’t capture the positive attitude I try to possess, but at the end of the day it’s kind of how life works. Whether it’s people leaving you, or you leaving them life is about learning when to take your bow and exit. All of us were sitting at the dinner table discussing some of the last times that we’ve been together and my aunt talked about how whenever we would leave our vacation house in Maine my cousin Zach used to cry.
After hearing this my dad immediately chimed in and said that I was like that. Initially I argued but then I started thinking about what I will call my, “leaving experiences,” for this blog post. The two that jump to the top of the list were two internships I participated in. Both were similar in nature but were in very different environments. I grew up going to camp and so when the opportunity arose to work for the campgrounds I went to as a child I jumped at the chance. I worked with five other college students during two months of intense work. Shifts in the kitchen, by the pool, and doing any and every odd job you can think of.
I left in early August to travel to Honduras on a service trip and while I was excited to leave I was also physically and emotionally exhausted. I remember coming home and my mom was trying to get me to pack while I sat on a bed in a towel and just cried my eyes out. The summer after that I did a similar internship for a campgrounds in California. I was working with three other females and while that did sometimes yield trouble in our group dynamic I built some powerful friendships.
I remember sitting in the back of the car on the way to the airport crying my eyes out after dropping off one of the other interns. I cried after my supervisor dropped me off. Cried again while waiting for my plane, and the bawled as the plane took off. In both scenarios I was leaving an experience that helped shape me, and I knew that the bond I had with those people would be different after leaving the bubble that was created in the summer.
My dad always tells me that moving on is a natural process in life and when I tell him that doesn’t make it easy he always agrees. But then again life isn’t easy. People always leave, its true. But we’re not evil for leaving. We leave because we have to. There are a million different reasons and situations in which we have to move on, and it’s not always easy or fair but what’s the alternative?