I’ve been at this blog for two years now, and I’ve seen some personal milestones so far. I traveled alone for the first time, I learned to own up to my musical talents, and overall, writing publicly has helped me understand myself in a deeper way. But recent events have thrown my thoughts back to one of my earliest entries which I titled “I’m Not Emotionally Mature Enough To Work At A Hostel“.
Two years later, turns out I am.
It’s really, really funny how things change. I AM emotionally mature enough to work at a hostel.
Here’s what I mean: back when I was traveling through Brazil in the fall of 2014, I was bouncing from hostel to hostel. I’d be sharing a room with 8 to 14 other people I’d never met before from all over the world. One relatively small common room. Shared breakfast. And a small, personable, fun staff to take care of everything.
For some, this sounds like a nightmare. For someone as sheltered and as eager to “get out there” as I was, it was the perfect situation to meet cool people and explore new cities together. And that’s exactly what I did. I connected with dorm-mates, hostel-mates, sometimes even staff workers. We’d gallivant about, learning about the city together, having crazy adventures, with deep conversations all the while…and at the end of all of it, there’d be a goodbye. And by the time that goodbye swings by, I’m already attached. This person (or this group of people) has become my person. My “best friend forever“, in preschool terms.
The goodbyes would be painful. Yes, I’ll try to make it to your country. Maybe you’ll make it to my country! Don’t forget to send me those photos! I’ll send you a postcard from my next destination. Don’t be a stranger now! Add me on Facebook/Instagram/…!
I wrote that initial blog post two years ago about not being emotionally mature enough because I didn’t know how to move forward after making a deep connection with someone who I’d probably never see again. I didn’t think I could live through a constantly revolving door of awesome people. At the point, my paradigm was that any great person who I had a phenomenal time with was meant to stay in my life forever.
But now, that’s not my worldview anymore and it’s jarring to realize this. I’ve traveled a lot since those days, mostly on solo adventures. Also, I’ve had to uproot my life several times since then. Point is, these past few years have been an intense season of meeting or having great people in my life, and having to let them go in significant ways.
I’ve learned that it’s very special to meet someone and connect with them right away, especially with the added bonding experience of traveling through a new place.
I’ve also learned to be okay saying goodbye and never see that person again. It doesn’t mean that our time together wasn’t special. I’ve grown to find satisfaction in the memories. We can meet again in the realm of memory. We have the experiences. And maybe we’ll actually meet again. That would be great. And maybe we won’t. That’s okay, too.
I don’t believe in forever anymore. I used to. But now I don’t. And I think that’s the lesson. Life is a constant revolving door of people. And…it is what it is, isn’t it?