By Kari Travis | Echo
I hate goodbyes.
Because to say a proper farewell, I have to reveal your feelings. Tears must be shed. Laughter must be shared. Memories, buried deep, must be revisited-just one more time.
Melodramatic, I know. But consider yourself warned. This goodbye ritual is exactly what I'm about to do.
I have spent over three years now in what some might consider an all-out love affair with The Echo. Like any relationship, it has evolved over time. It began as a casual friendship and transformed into a long-term commitment.
The Echo can't be defined as just a newspaper. Its worth isn't contained in words or photographs or the awards on our office wall. Its significance can't even be described by the hours of hard work and headaches suffered by our production team on Thursday nights.
To us-to me-The Echo is something that stretches beyond all tangible value.
The Echo is family.
That's fine. That's probably true. And that's where I start getting emotional.
I started this "relationship" for the sake of the job-and I stayed for the sake of the people. Because I love them, probably more than they even realize. It's something I don't feel I've said enough.
That's where we come back to my original point. I hate goodbyes.
But I have a theory. It's not so much the goodbye that I dread so much as the regrets that come after the goodbye is said. I have a hunch that this is true for other human beings as well.
The fact is, goodbyes are inevitable. We must say them sooner or later. But regrets are optional. We can choose how many we carry with us after a season is ended, a door is closed and a goodbye is said.
Because regrets are memories that should be made, but never are.
Wherever you are in your life-whether you are graduating from Taylor, or coming back for another year-take a step back and evaluate. What do you love? More to the point, who do you love?
When we truly love what we have before it's time to let it go, we can say farewell knowing we carry fond memories, not deep regrets. That's why I want to say just a couple more things before I close this-the last article I will ever write to you here.
No matter who you are, what you do or where you go, it's your life-not your work-that you will ultimately share with others.
So to my Echo family-and Taylor family-before I say goodbye, I want you to know this.
Be in the moment. Be wise about the future. Live with memories, and without regrets. Be in Him, and with Him and for Him. Be courageous to admit when you've made mistakes, and quick to forgive those whose mistakes have hurt you.
Above all, defy the unspoken-and love out loud.
I love you.
(Thumbnail photograph by David Adams)