We had a going away party last night. Friends from all areas of our lives came to wish us well on this next adventure as a family. This morning, one of my dearest friends stopped by, and I gave her a hug goodbye—the last for several months.
About a month ago, I said goodbye to my sister, who came to our hometown with her husband and daughter. We don’t get to see each other often—just a few times a year—but the goodbye that time was especially tough since I won’t see her for at least another year, if not longer.
Why the goodbyes? Well, we’re moving to Thailand in three days.
Three days. Three. Yes, three. And while I’m wholly unprepared for the changes that are about to happen in our lives, the biggest weight I carry right now is saying goodbye to the people and places I love.
You see, I am fulfilled by community and place. The people I spend my life with hold deep meaning for me, and while yes, we will be back, it’s hard to say goodbye for now.
Every person I see, every place I go, holds weight: Will I see this person again? Will I come here again?
And then there is my elderly aunt, a woman who is like a grandmother to me and who I have grown up with, who I very well may not see again. Her frailty reminds me that our choice to leave is a decision of adventure over time with the people we love. Sometimes I wonder: is it worth it?
It seems like an impossible choice, doesn’t it? See the world, live and breathe adventure, shake up our lives in a real way . . . or stay, and get to spend time with my closest friends, family, and colleagues.
I love my people. I also love being out there. I crave the freshness of travel, the intrigue of disruption, the rawness of living in a place that is foreign and new. It awakens my creativity and resilience, challenges my worldview, and reminds me of the privilege I take for granted every day.
But even so, saying goodbye is hard. I’m not a crier, but I’ve shed several tears in the past weeks, with many more to go. This, to me, is a reminder of the juxtaposition of excitement and loss. It is a loss of moments with people I love, of being a part of building a stronger Boise community through close relationships and volunteer work. Of attending the monthly groups I’ve been a part of for many years. Of running in the foothills. Of my beloved Boise summers.
This is the hard part—saying goodbye. It’s a process, not a word. But if history repeats itself, the pain will strengthen the relationships I’ve invested in and draw me closer to the people I love.
If you’re one of those people, I’ll miss you. And if you’re feeling similar contradictions inside yourself—a tug of war between seeing the big, wide world and staying in place—I’m here to tell you as a somewhat veteran of leaving it all behind in search for adventure (and as a note to myself when I’m feeling especially uncertain):
It’s worth it. The people you leave temporarily will be there with open arms when you return. You will come back better and braver. You will develop greater empathy and a world view that can’t be cultivated by standing in place.
Here’s to courage, adventure, and hard goodbyes. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
New horizons for you and your family…. You are making family memories that will never be forgotten. Best wishes. I’ll be interested to read your future posts. — Mike
P.S. Cristen and I begin the final phase of editing next month. Plan to have the book completed by December. Your work and guidance is going to become to reality….
Thank you, Mike! It’s definitely an exciting time for us as a family. I’m thrilled to know you’re so close to being finished with the book. I can’t wait to read it!
I admire your adventurous spirit and the courage to take this leap. Can’t wait to hear all about your experiences. Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead!
Thank you, Stephanie! You are a model for a courageous life, my friend. I’m still hoping you’ll come visit me in Thailand . . .
Ah, life is bittersweet. As hard as those farewells are, your dear ones want you to be happy, and this is what makes you happy. I know you are embracing the adventure! And what a gift of perspective you are giving your children. Godspeed to you and your family, and au revoir (’til we see each other again) – not good-bye!
It is bittersweet, isn’t it? Thanks for the kind words, Brenda. I’ll look forward to seeing you next time I’m in town!
Love your courage and love you. 🙂
Aw, thank you, Robin! Love you right back.
Love you, sissy! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you. I hope you love your time there, and I’ve got a big hug for you the next time we see each other <3. Praying for you every day. Love you.
Thanks, sis! I appreciate the love and support and can’t wait to see you again—hopefully sooner than later. Love you!
Saying goodbye is hard, but fortunately, in today’s world, it is easier than ever to stay in touch. I moved from San Jose to Seattle four years ago. What I miss most is my friends and the orchestra where I played for 15 years. Through the magic of video conferencing, I still get to talk monthly with a group of friends I met when our children were in elementary school. We have supported each other through many struggles over the years.
I wrote a poem during the week we moved, expressing the emotions that took me for surprise. It’s too long to post here, but I’ll email it to you, Stacy.
You’re right—technology makes it so much easier. I love that you get to talk monthly with your friends in San Jose. I’ll look forward to reading your poem. 🙂
I am wishing you a wonderful experience. I will keep an eye on your mom and try to spend extra time with her, she will miss you so much. Know that she is very proud of you. She loves you dearly. I am proud of you and am so glad I have been able to watch you grow up and blossom into an amazing woman. Your precious little family makes my heart happy. Love you sweet girl. Hugs to your little ones and your sweetheart! Much love, Judy
Thanks so much for this kind comment, Judy! Yes, give my mom lots of hugs. I think she’ll miss the kids more than me. 🙂 Thank you for being such a great friend to her.
I love you, Stacy! I am so proud of you and all you’ve done in your young life. I’m so happy you continue to include me and my family in your communications about all of your adventures and life. It means so much to me. I love Doug, Lily and Max too and it was so great to see all of you and your folks last night. It is fun to see how much your children and all of your friends’ children have grown!! Wow! Have a great time and I can’t wait to read all about your grand adventures. Good luck in Portland tomorrow! Julie xo
What a sweet comment, Julie! Thank you! We consider you part of our family and it means so much to have you at our gatherings. We love the entire Stutts-Baker clan and can’t wait to see you again soon!
I think leaving now is brilliant! You chose a good time to get out of Dodge!?
I can’t wsit to see your posts from your “new home” which will be such an adventure. Especially for your kiddos.
Be safe. Remember you are loved, thought about and prayed for.
Stay out of caves.
You’ll be in my heart ♥️
Thank you, Kelli! <3 We are excited for a new country and new experiences. I appreciate the love and good thoughts.
Excited for your adventure! I hope we’ll see you in Thailand and of course in Boise when you visit for Get Shit Done! 🙂
Thank you, Caitlin! I’m crossing my fingers that my trip coincides with a meeting.