“Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn’t work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos.”  ~Charles M. Schulz


I’ve gotta say I’m with the “Peanuts” guy on that one.  I hate good-byes.  I’m about to get a lot of hellos. 

I’ve been mulling over this blog for over a week now.  Needing to write about it, but not being able to.  Feeling too many different feelings all at once starts making me feel kinda schizo, you know?  (NOTE: No offense to those true schizophrenics out there.)  But until I can really vent things, talk them through, I start to feel like I’m about a 12 on the crazy scale, which only goes to 10!

It’s all a big lead in to say one simple sentence: 

We’re moving. 

It’s rather surreal to see the words in print.  I mean, this IS happening to someone else, right??!  No, it’s us. 


I’m starting to lose track of the moves. 

I moved around a lot as a kid.  Being the daughter of a Methodist minister, my Dad moved churches every couple of years.  The longest we lived anywhere when I was growing up, was 5 years.  That was an eternity.  And the moving just became a big part of who I am.  It forced me to jump into new environments, head first.  Just suck it up and make a friend.  I mean, even now, I’ll make friends with the person in the grocery store line, or the post office line or at the airport, or just the lamppost, for Pete’s sake.  I’m not picky.  People are fascinating.  I’ll talk to anybody.  But all the moving, it’s made me who I am.  And for that, I’m grateful.

But when I realized that my high school sweetheart, whom I had met during the “eternal 5 year period”,  and I were headed for matrimonial bliss, I got to thinking, “Hey, here’s a guy who’s lived in the same house since the first grade…I’m going to get to set down some roots!  Finally.”  No such luck.  His work is pretty specialized and so it has taken us to a variety of places.  You go where the work is. And so, the nomadic spirit lives on.

We’ve lived in Iowa for 4 years.  That’s pretty long for us.  We lived somewhere for 6 years before.  Usually we are on the 3 year plan.  This time, we’ve made it 4!  Not too shabby.  This time, we get to go to another new state.  This time, it’s South Carolina, near to our beloved North Carolina.  This time, it’s less than 5 hours from our parents.  This time, we get to say good-bye.  Again.  It’s hard–even when you are a displaced Southerner in the Midwest and the move takes you back to the South. 

As hard as I try to keep my distance emotionally from people, because I know that eventually we ALWAYS move and I will have to detach and I don’t want to be vulnerable to that kind of pain, it doesn’t work.  I can’t help it.  I just love people.  I can’t help but feel attached. 

So this move is bittersweet.  

Bitter: I am devastated because one of hubby’s sisters lives here and we’ve loved living near her and her family and I have some precious friends here who I will miss terribly! 

Sweet: I am so excited that we’ll be less than a days drive from my parents.

Bitter: I am heartbroken because my daughter is heartbroken to leave friends she’s known since kindergarten. 

Sweet: I am thrilled that we’ll be living near the beach!!! 

Bitter: I am sad to leave a wonderful school, neighborhood and friends.

Sweet: I am SO looking forward to having a mild Southern winter again!!   

I could go on and on. 

It’s like my sweet Emma said. “The hardest part is telling my friends.”  She’s so right.  You find out you’re moving.  You begin to process it yourself.  You tell one friend and the wound is just ripped open again.  Every time you tell someone else, you relive those feelings.  The wound doesn’t get a chance to close. It hurts.  There’s no avoiding the pain.  You just have to walk through it. 

And it’s not only the people.  It’s all the junk that goes along with moving.   The cleaning.  The house-selling.  The house-repairing.  The house-showing.  The house-purchasing.  The switching of schools, utilities, cell phones, drivers’ licences, insurance, blah blah blah blah blah.  OY!  It hurts my brain to think about it all.  It’s exhausting.

But it’s right.  Amidst all the emotional upheaval and drama that ensues when you are in the moving process, I am at peace with our decision.  Bittersweet as it is, it’s right.  It’s painful and scary, but it’s right.  We will all be okay.  Things will come together.  They always do.

I hate good-byes, so I don’t say good-bye.  I say, “See ya later”.  


“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie




Filed under Lessons

3 responses to “Bittersweet

  1. Colleen

    I forgot… have a beautiful family!!!! 🙂

  2. Colleen

    Hi Joell,
    You came by my Space probably a few weeks ago now and I wanted to say Thanks! Lately my time spent on the computer is short… this beautiful weather so I\’m outside most of the time! So if I write a blog I usually don\’t have time to read others and comment. Of course my own rambling doesn\’t help matters I guess! LOL
    I think you have a great attitude towards the moving thing. What choice do you really have, huh? But it\’s better to see the "positive" things rather than the negative. Although the only negative here is that you will be leaving people. But just putting physical distance between you doesn\’t mean you\’ve lost anyone…..right? 🙂
    I look at it this way…..everything happens for a reason. You spent your time there, made friends, touched peoples lives and they\’ve touched yours, and who knows how many lives you guys have made better or just changed due to the time you were there. You have to look at it that way…\’s time to move on…..and who knows what wonders await all of you!
    Yes I am an optimist…….but isn\’t that a "good thing"? As far as making friends with everyone I know what you\’re saying. I\’ll talk to just about anyone and I tend to embarrass some family members by doing so…..hey, their loss as far as I\’m concerned. What goes around comes around…..karma……it\’s all out there ya know!
    I\’ve actually lived in 2 places my whole life so I can\’t really relate to your delima…..but I have to tell you, I think it would be an adventure…..I know, not the "moving" and all that goes with that……but to have the opportunity to live in different places with vast differences is an experience for anyone, especially your kids. But you\’ll know when it\’s time to say "enough"…..maybe this will be that time where it will just stop after this move. Put those positive thoughts out there!!!
    Okay….see…..I just go on and on and on……that\’s what happens when you live alone I suppose. But the other side to that is that I get to do whatever I want allllll the time!! LOL 🙂
    I\’ll be back……

  3. Tiffany

    I think it\’s exciting when people get to move around like that.  Me, on the other hand… my parents have the same house that I grew up in.  My husband will never work for another company because he works for his Dad\’s company.  And, he\’s pretty much got it made.  The only place we will move is closer to his office.  That process has already started with our house up for sale right now.  But, this town is only 45 minutes south of here so it won\’t be too far from my friends.  AND it gives me the opportunity to stay home with Baylee.  You are lucky to be close to the beach as well! 
    I will pray that everything goes well!  Big hugs to you and your family… I hope your children adjust like you did when you were growing up!

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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