Goodbyes are often bittersweet, and like a Hallmark movie, this one had me in a funny state of touched and amused.
I was saying goodbye to my 7-year-old niece after visiting for a few days. She hugged me like a koala and said with utmost sincerity, “I’m going to miss you a lot. But I’m really excited to go to the party.”
It was like a trip to the DMV. No time to waste, no polite phrasing. Just the facts. I love you but I have things to do!
She did something many adults can’t: feel two conflicting emotions at once.
In our struggle to make sense of opposite feelings, we tend to ignore one side.
You feel like you’re so fortunate in life, you shouldn’t get upset about that annoying little thing. Or you got yourself in a tough situation and don’t feel like you deserve to have that moment of joy.
There is happy or sad, angry or at peace.
But that’s not life. There will be many tough goodbyes and Frozen-themed parties, sometimes on the very same day.
I hope to make space for both sides of conflicting emotions and approach my feelings just as openly as my niece. To say, this is great and this is not and accept both as true.
And maybe line up a few more parties.
To being better without having an easy answer to ‘how are you,’