Grieving the Road Not Taken

Studying counseling is…so handy.  It’s as if all of life involves emotions, and knowing how to navigate them is useful.

One thing I’ve loved learning is that we grieve more than the loss of humans.  We also grieve the loss of opportunities.  And every time we choose something, we are necessarily choosing not to do every other thing.  Those other things deserve to be grieved. 

This is different than the fear I feel thinking about Athens (at which point Kim’s voice enters my head:  “Don’t make a decision based on fear.”).  This is me allowing myself to grieve losing Dallas.  I’m sad that I wont work with Nancy and Tyler.  It’s so fun for Nancy to crash in my office while waiting for clients.  It’s so fun to duck into Tyler’s office to discuss being Scottish.

I’m sad to leave a group of friends who know me more intimately than any others, friends I made while we were all practicing our counseling skills in getting deeper faster.  I’ll miss going out for coffee or–oh man, I’m going to miss the live music of Dallas so much.  I’m going to miss the kids I nanny, and getting to crash in a fancy house and eat their snacks.  I’ll miss DTS even, although right now my senioritis finds that hard to believe.

Part of me wants to shove this sadness down.  Being sad means I can’t move forward, being sad means I’m throwing a pity party.  I used to believe these lies, but not anymore.  “It hurts because it mattered,” John Green wrote, and thinking of leaving Dallas hurts because being here mattered.  That’s a wonderful thing!  It is so good to be sad and to grieve the loss of something meaningful and lovely.

Grieving doesn’t mean I’ll change my mind.  Grieving doesn’t mean I’m not also crazy excited about going to Athens.  I’m an emotionally complex human being, capable of feeling multiple contradictory emotions simultaneously.  And I’ll counsel myself via a blog if I want.


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