The Bittersweet Beauty of Good-Bye

(I’m feeling low while writing this, so please excuse the melodrama)

12:30 at Phoenix Airport

Just finished saying good-bye to my family.  That was the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far.  Did the sad good-bye with my husband at the airport.  Don’t EVER want to have to feel that way again.  Why did I decide to do this again?  I can’t seem to remember.  The past 24 hours have been TERRIBLE.  Everything makes me cry.  At this point, I don’t know if I can do this.  It was all just an idea until the bags started getting packed.  Then it “hit the fan.”  Yuck.

I have 20 hours of traveling to pull it together so I thought writing would be the best way to deal with all this pain I’m feeling.

As I sit here, on the floor, of good ol’ Sky Harbor, I am reflecting on this summer and how wonderful it’s been.  Usually my summers consist of catching up on chores, watching unnecessary bad reality t.v., then prepping for school.  Often leaving little time to really connect with the people around me.  However THIS summer was different.  There was no more putting people off, saying things like “oh, we should do that SOME TIME,” or things left unsaid.  THIS summer was seeing a lot of the people closest and dear to me.  My husband and I went on dates and went to those places we always wanted to try out.  If I wanted to tell someone I loved them, I did.  There was an entire “life is too short” mentality this summer, and THERE is the beauty.

Shouldn’t we always do this?

How often do we?

How many times are people suddenly taken away from us without warning and we regret our last moments with them?

Now, here is where I feel blessed.  I know I’m not the only person in the world that has had a painful goodbye.  However, mine is temporary.  In about 125 days, (yes, I counted) I will be home for a couple of weeks before going back to the UAE.

I can’t imagine having to say goodbye to someone knowing it IS the last time you will ever see them.  It hurts too much to even fathom, yet I’m sure those people also lived their lives with every moment really counting with that person.

As I stated in my first post- I was going to write the good, the bad and the ugly.  Therefore I’m calling today “ugly.”  Not just because I look like crap after crying all my makeup off which only enhances the large red bags under my eyes, but because of how ugly this day feels.  I want it to be over so I can get to Stage 1. (see previous post)

I guess for now, this goes down as one of my lows on this trip.

To my friends and family- I love each and every one of you and look forward to seeing you again SOON!

Time to board…..

8 thoughts on “The Bittersweet Beauty of Good-Bye

  1. Ali, as I read this, I remembered it all too well. When I left for South Africa, I had a very similar experience, and sobbed all the way through the very long security line and onto the plane. This feeling will go away and it will also come back again. The important thing is that you will be glad that you went in that heavy, I made myself better even though it was hard kind of way. There will be beautiful moments and there will be ugly moments. Hang in there, and know that there are many folks who are proud of you. 🙂

  2. Proud of you indeed Ali! My friend Missy just left for her second year of teaching in South Korea! Lots and lots of nervousness and anxieties, highs and lows, but an enormous support system of friends, family and “framily” to hold her hand through the good, the bad and the ugly both long distance and right by her side. You have a wealth of people who love you and know that this will be an awesome adventure for you. Today I met with one of my former band students…she’s 24 now…24!!!!! Anyhow, she has been away as a volunteer teaching English as a second language in Thailand. She and I met for coffee and I found myself talking about YOU and telling her how proud and excited I am for you and this adventure! Anyhow, we love you and we all have you in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to the good, the bad and the ugly as we live vicariously through you and this amazing adventure. You’re kind of a superhero in this cousin’s eyes! Cheers & Hugs!

  3. I sit here with no one going to far away places… the most far is daughter, Jessica, in Portland, OR!!! Yet, I can so understand your angst!!!! You rated this day as “ugly” which I do understand in terms of the good-byes… Yet, it also can be “good”…you are on a new adventure… you are now this much closer to being home with loved ones than you were yesterday… and, you also are going forward with effecting the lives of children you will love and care about…. That is GOOD!!!!

    Have to say, the hardest thing for me would have been that good-by to husband… love you, love you more, love you even more-even though he knows that!!!! Yes, I would have tears… Goodness, Ali, you have the support of your family… many friends who love and care for you… You will DO great… there will be bumps along the way (even here in the USA as well)… Just so proud of you sharing who you are with children and others across the world. If I could, I would love to be the fly in your bag (with human powers!!!!) to see how all this transpires!!!

    Hope flight goes well for you… Do you consider this Day One??? As Brooke and Lisa said, the good, bad and ugly will come (as they do here), but know you have so many of us here supporting and loving you through your journey!!!!

  4. This morning I drove down Price on my way to work. When I drove by your street I leaned out the window and waved and yelled, “BYE ALI! I’LL SEE YOU IN DECEMBER!” …There was a dude on a motorcycle next to me who thought I was yelling at him…*shoulder shrug*.
    In true teacher style I suggest you make a paper chain of how many days until you fly home. 😀

  5. I admire you! Someday you will look back on this journey and say, “Wow! I did it, I really did it!” And, mentor someone else with first hand experience on the good, the bad and the ugly!

  6. I walked around like a zombie yesterday, doing nothing in particular…then I read this and get all mushy again. Miss you so much and I’m not very good company right now, but I’m finding these little hidden Post Its that make me smile. The best came this morning: “Think we can find a shot glass in Abu Dhabi?” I like Clara’s paper chain idea. I know it gets better from here. G2

  7. Thank you all SO much for the words of encouragement. I am now here in this BEAUTIFUL hotel on VERY little sleep! It is very early Friday morning, and we are aiming to get accustomed to the time change today. I will try to write this weekend……I do believe I’m heading into stage 1! 🙂
    Hugs to you all….

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