I’m feeling a bit sad tonight. The good-byes have started. I’m looking forward to this week but a part of me is dreading it. I have lunches, dinners and breakfasts scheduled all week with friends…. friends who will be saying good-bye.
We’ll see each other two hours later on Facebook so it’s not like it’ll really be goodbye. But it will mean that seeing each other face-to-face, hugging each other’s necks and sitting down to coffee or a meal will not happen again for a really long while. I’m telling myself that it’s not goodbye. I’m just moving to another neighborhood 13.5 hours away. I’m telling myself that it’s not really goodbye…. it’s not really goodbye …. it’s not REALLY goodbye.
And for my friends in Michigan, we just have to get this week over in order to start our coffee dates and yoga classes and meals in Michigan restaurants. They’ve been in another neighborhood for almost 13 years. We will all probably be a little heavier, a little more wrinkled and a lot more gray than the last time we hugged each other’s necks. Apparently I gave my friend Kathy my snowshoes when I left, and she’ll be returning them to me in a couple of weeks. Life will resume in Michigan after a very long break. It won’t be long until I will just be a normal part of their world and they of mine.
Ashok is uneasy. She can tell something’s going on. I’m not sleeping as well as usual. I’ve got a list a mile long of services to cancel. The movers are booked, and my days as a Louisiana gal are numbered. Right now I have about two weeks and three days but who’s counting?
I was 23 years old the last time I said goodbye to Louisiana. I had a small carload of belongings. I drove away from my house in Watson in my sort of new Mercury Lynx hatchback that leaked when it rained. I set off to be a reporter at a small newspaper in Harlingen TX called The Valley Morning Star. My reporter stint didn’t last long, but it was my very first adventure, and I had been waiting on it for all of my teenage years. My sister says I drove away, and she ran inside and cried unconsolably the rest of the day. I was the first one to launch. As for me, I doubt I even looked in the rear view mirror. This was my new grown-up life, and I was ready to begin it. No regrets.
My move three years ago…
Lately I’ve felt like a star in Back to the Future. Three years ago this week I moved here, and Facebook keeps populating these pictures of my Rav 4 piled up with all of my belongings. I’m doing the same things I’m doing now but in reverse. I also bought my house in Memphis in late July, and I moved into my apartment before that in early August. Thankfully, I don’t have pics on Facebook of all of those moves, or I’d feel like I was in sequel four of Back to the Future, Sharon-style. It could get very confusing.
I am thrilled about my new job, and I’m already looking at house listings. I want to buy when I get there. I’ve spent three long years in limbo, and I’m ready to settle down for a little while. I know me. It won’t be forever. My friend Ann is already telling me that she wants to come see me in Michigan before I move. My average is about 3 years with a few outliers that were longer or shorter. If you want to come visit, I’d say plan it in the next couple of years. I could be there forever, but my track record says probably not.
There will be tears this week. There will be laughter. There will be frustration in tying up loose ends. My temper might be short. I may even melt down. One week from today, I will be in a hotel in St. Joseph getting ready for my first day in my new job. My feelings are all jumbled up, and I feel tender. Louisiana School is almost over. I have learned much, cried much, laughed much and, most of all, grown much. In a couple of months, maybe I’ll take some time to process it all. If nothing else, it has most certainly been interesting.
Y’all have a good week. In just a moment, I’ll be gone.