Knowing When it’s Time to Say Goodbye


Saying goodbye is never easy, whether it’s to a job, friendship, pet, or romantic relationship.  It can even be difficult to part with a place or possession that brings you warm memories.  However, often times saying goodbye is necessary for growth, mental health and positive changes.

Goodbyes can make openings for new (and better) hellos.

I said goodbye to many things in 2016- one by one, my relationships either dwindled or flourished.  In my effort to grow, I learned to say goodbye to people who no longer brought positive energy into my life, knocked me down or made me doubt myself.  2016 was a very painful year, but looking back, I can only remember the good times.  This is probably because I let things pass me by instead of holding on so tightly that I hurt myself.

The other week, I had an ah-ha moment at my desk while organizing my work space.  As I was looking for something to write with that morning, I realized I had been keeping several pens around that didn’t even work.  Why was I keeping these pens if they no longer served their purpose?  Then, with a working writing utensil, I jotted in my notebook:

Why keep it around if it doesn’t work?

Something clicked in my brain at that moment; I realized that the pen was an applicable metaphor for many things in life.  Employees, friendships, tools or technology- why keep something around if it is not fulfilling its function?

Why would I let something drag me down- be it as small as pen or as meaningful as a relationship?  From organizing your closet to hiring, it’s crucial to carefully select what and who you allow in your life, and to know when to say goodbye if it is no longer serving you.  This is not meant to be harsh; it’s meant to help you think.

While I believe you should speak, act and walk with love, that doesn’t equate to allowing negative energy into your life.  You can peacefully set healthy boundaries when faced with a situation where you must interact with negative people or situations; yet other times, you must simply walk away.


4 days before leaving New York.

When I decided to leave New York City in July of 2016, I was faced with several challenges.  I lost my high-paying consulting gig, needed to find a new apartment, had several messy relationships and was naively waiting for someone toxic to decide they wanted me in their life.  At this point, I was spiritually bankrupt.  I turned to sleep, alcohol, overspending and hedonistic friendships to take my mind off of everything meaningful I lacked.  Without an income or savings, faith or a connection with a higher power, July of last year was completely heart wrenching.  I felt like a failure, as my dreams had died.  I had nothing- or so I thought.

Dreams die to make room for something better.

I never would have left New York had things not gotten as bad as they did.  The universe had something different in store for me, so I followed the signs and moved on.  Did it hurt?  Absolutely.  Do I wish I would have done things differently?  Of course!  However, I know I am much more close to discovering my true purpose thanks to those experiences, the wonderful people I have met along the way, and those who have guided me in my new life in Boston.

Today, I am so grateful.  I may have said goodbye to the Kristin I once was, but now I am making room for the Kristin who lives on faith, not fear.


A summertime Central Park shot during my days working at 712 Fifth Avenue.

About Kristin Fehrman

Boston-based writer. Living beautifully at Mindful in Style.
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