The Season of Departures

Somehow it all came at once. It's like, all the motion, all the activity and agitation and desire to move and be free that people have felt during COVID, it all came bursting out just around Memorial Day, 2021.

Of course I'm only speaking to my own world, my own surroundings. I am in no position to speak about anyone else's. But from where I stand, this is that season, the season of endings and departures.

My best friend of many many years is moving to the extreme other side of the country and that hurts. The odd thing of this world is that his moving away might mean we spend more time together, as we will most likely be awake early in the day an spend time online. But this does mean we won't see each other in person as I had hoped, when “All of this” ended. If it is ending.

My direct supervisor is leaving, and in his wake I'm being drawn into new opportunities. In the five years we've worked together he and I have never connected on any recognizably human level, but this means a sea change in our organization, one that has been changing a lot for a group that is traditionally quite stable. One of our developers quit rather suddenly, and another announced that they're leaving for a different job. We had to let one person go and we're hiring new people into new roles to replace these people we're losing.

Oh, and one member of our team died a few months ago. Not of COVID, oddly enough. Somehow that has been buried and forgotten, as if we can only hold so many earth-shattering changes and older ones must be cleared away to make room for the new ones. But I don't feel, in my heart of hearts, that I've actually recovered from that yet. How could we have done so?

So here's what I'm telling myself:

It's okay to hurt in times like this. I don't know what the future will bring. I don't know how to think about the future at all. My world is opening up again, more change is possible again, more freedom is possible, and we can hopefully all stop going individually crazy because we will be spending more time in heterogeneous groups. We'll get out of our bubbles and echo chambers and actually interact with one another. But we are still in pain, still suffering from the losses we've all suffered, are still suffering, both pandemic related and those that are simply pandemic-adjacent.

It's okay to hurt. Even those of us who follow a faith that teaches an Atonement and Resurrection still cry at funerals. That pain is not evil. Nor is it wrong to hurt when a good situation, like a good work team, comes to an end.

That's the way of it, I suppose. Change happens how and when it will, and we adjust. And adjust. and adjust again. It's okay.

Good friendships last. Even though hard times, especially through hard times. The hard and scary part of the liminal spaces is that we can't see the next thing; we don't know what good is coming. We only see the good that we're losing.

But deep down we know that most changes are for the better, or hold within them the key that will unlock our ability to do or be better. It takes patience to know that I guess.

For now my heart hurts. But it won't hurt forever.