Hello > Goodbye

The word ‘goodbye’ has such a negative connotation, especially in the world of TCK’s. And as we grow up, we have to say goodbye to such pivotal people throughout the entirety of their lives, whether it be friends we have made along the way, or your parents traveling for work, or the grandparent(s) you just spent a month visiting over the summer in the country of your citizenship. But what if we switched from focusing on the goodbyes and started focusing on all of the hellos? I had never thought of focusing on the hellos in my life, so when a fellow ATCK (Adult – Third Culture Kid) talked about focusing on the hellos rather than the goodbyes in her life, it changed my entire perspective on the matter.

The words “hello” and “goodbye” are pretty much polar opposites, but not that kind that attract. The only thing they have in common with each other is if the word ‘hello’ is muttered, the word ‘goodbye’ probably will be at some point as well. It’s the cycle of life. After examining the large proportion of goodbyes I have said to people in comparison to the hellos, it dawned on me that without the goodbyes, I might have not made room for new friendships. Closing a door is equally as scary as opening a door. Yet the difference is, saying hello OPENS the door, and in that lay the opportunities for new friendships. From there, I realized that by saying goodbye to certain people, room was made for new people in my life.

Next time you find yourself thinking about a certain goodbye, think back to the first hello with that same person. And by saying that one simple word, look at the course of events that played out between you both, whether it be negative or positive. Now, evaluate how that person impacted your life, and how they allowed you to grow as a person and into the person you are right now. If you had never said hello, you would not be the person you are today. The word “hello” snowballed the events in which you grew from. And self growth and learning are some of the most important things we have to continuously do as humans and it all ultimately stems back to the hellos you have said throughout your life.

Everyone and anyone that has graced my life, or is currently in my life has made an impact of some sorts. And each and every impact has been or is a learning experience. Every person I have said goodbye to, I have learned something from. Same with everyone I have said hello too as well. The only difference is, saying hello allows the person to grace you with the new learning experience in your life. If I never opened the door by saying hello, I would have never had to shut the door, and I would not have grown as a person. And so when I look at hello versus goodbye, the hellos I have said throughout my life are greater than the goodbyes. Yes, the goodbyes have brought sorrow and loss but through that sorrow and loss have come new friendships that budded into much more than I could have ever hoped for.

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