auf wiedersehen

I am not a huge fan of goodbyes. They just seem so final and harsh.

I’m leaving Austin tomorrow, and over the past 24 hours I’ve said goodbye to a lot of people. (Multiple times, in the case of a few stubborn people who just kept running into me after I bid them farewell.)

It’s been so hard! I’ve shared so much with my Austin family in the last year and a half, and all of those emotions and experiences kind of came to a head at the end of my farewell celebration. A bunch of us shared an extremely tasty meal at Trudy’s (I’m loading up on the Tex-Mex before I leave… I hear it’s not so fantastic in Germany), followed by some ridiculous dancing in the basement of the UCC.

At the end of the night, Bryan and Bailey insisted on everyone praying over me before we all went our separate ways. Which was absolutely beautiful.

But it suddenly hit me how much I’m going to miss every single one of my friends here in Austin. These people are like my second family, my support network, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and it’s really difficult to think about not seeing them until August. It’ll be even harder to say goodbye to my actual (biological) family next week, I imagine.

But the comforting thing about these goodbyes is that they’re temporary!

I’ll have the good fortune to see some of my favorite people while I’m in Europe – my dad and possibly my brother will be in Europe at some point during the summer, I’m visiting Niki, my lovely wifey, and her family in Krakow in June, and I’ll hopefully be meeting up with Megan somewhere between Rome and Freiburg.

As for everyone else, I’ll be back here in Austin eventually, probably sooner than I’ll be comfortable with, actually. And in the words of Will, my wonderful co, “Thanks to the Internet, the world ain’t so big.” So really, very few of these goodbyes are permanent.

One thing that I’m coming to appreciate about the German language is the phrase “auf wiedersehen.” It’s used the same way we use “goodbye” in English, but it literally means “until I see you again.” So appropriate in this situation, if I do say so myself.

So yes, I’m sad to leave behind all of the amazing friends I’ve been blessed with and the city I’ve fallen in love with over the past two years. But I will meet them again, so until then, it’s not “goodbye,” but instead, “auf wiedersehen.”

And just because it’s cute:

“Promise me you’ll never forget me, because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”

-Winnie the Pooh