I strongly find saying goodbye unenjoyable. Being able to properly, appropriately, and un-awkwardly bid farewell to people, places, and things does not tend to be my forte. So when the boyfriend and I made the tough decision to change the location of our California adventure from Orange County back up to the Bay Area, I wasn’t sure how I was going to offer the opposite of salutations to the friends, family, and locations I had come to find comfort in.
So I started running.
Rather than attempting to have dinner and drinks with J, my most faithful running buddy in the OC, we took a run through Corona Del Mar and talked about her upcoming wedding, my impending move, what the future held and what the past had been like. Rather than trying to express to Sacha over coffee how good of a friend she’d been, we pounded the sand at Seal Beach and talked about boys, the woes of being freelance artists, the future, the past, and probably ligaments (we never didn’t discuss health in some form or another).
Rather than stopping by the coffee shops and eateries, the mall I walked when I was bored, the bars we hopped and the trails we walked, I incorporated them into my running routes. As I passed by, I would silently acknowledge the good times in an almost prayer sort of way, revering the moments spent with them. There went Gypsy Den, Memphis, the sushi place whose name I never learned, the delicious Asian fro-yo stop, TJ Maxx, Dee-Lux and of course, the Back Bay.
It was eventually impossible to properly say goodbye while I was in motion. I couldn’t run by my cousin’s house in order to thank her for the kindness she lavished on me and my boyfriend, nor could I run by her sister’s house and express how much I’d miss her wisdom and conversation, nor could I run by my aunt’s house and tell her that she’s just as good and sweet and wonderful as my own mom. Those are the sort of things I’m not sure can really be expressed in silent reflection or in words. No matter how many times I say it, I’ll never be able to feel like I have filled their cups or made them understand. I ran anyway though, and hoped that my feet were offering good vibrations through the air and into their hearts.
So I went to my last spin class and basked in the motivation of my favorite instructor, hit the gym for the last time and basked in the gloriousness that was having a steam room, and finally went on my last run at sunset when all the cars have made their way home and there’s a soft glow throughout Orange County, and whispered “goodbye” as only a runner really can.