On Saying Goodbye


Well, here we are. Today is my last day in the US for the foreseeable future. I’m in shock.

I’ve been home for the past three weeks, packing (my family is also moving from this apartment, so doubly packing) and trying to catch up on reading. Trying to enjoy life at home, taking walks in the forest, enjoying the nice weather, meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in months and won’t see for longer.

Lots of things are ending today. This is the last time I’ll sleep in this apartment, in my own bed. The last time I’ll repack my suitcase, sacrificing one more sweater to the ever-growing Pile of Leaving in the corner so I don’t overpack my luggage. I’m leaving my family, my city, my friends. Trying to maintain a brave face because I don’t know what I feel.

Lots of things will begin tomorrow. I’ll start life in a new city, rejoin my Prague friends, take a course in a subject I never thought I’d approach willingly, and start work. I’ll move into an apartment with my boyfriend, whom I haven’t seen much for the past year. Equal parts relief and fear.

I was at the dentist the other day, and they like to chat in this office, which I appreciate because it sets me at ease. And she told me, “it sounds like you’ve really got your life together.” I was taken aback by this, an easy “no,” springing to my lips. No, no really. It doesn’t feel like it. But I guess, from the outside, it looks like I have it all planned out in easy to follow steps. Nevermind that the success of those steps relies on a variety of factors largely out of my control. But it’s a start.

I have to get used to this idea that I have a good handle on where my life is going, because it’s never felt like it. Especially with this decision I’ve made, the direction I’m taking. I’ve moved so many times, not to mention making the long journey between home and university every year, that this seems… inevitable. But the goodbye is harder this time around, because unlike all the previous times, I don’t have a built-in return date. I’m not required to make any trips home this time. It’s all up to me, and what I want. And, honestly, that freedom, that choice is a little daunting. This time I’m moving so far away that I’m not sure how often I will be able to return home at all. My family is moving as well, perhaps out of state, so it’s possible I will not have much of a “home” to return to.

It’s scarier, this time around. But it’s also much more exciting. There’s more at stake, of course, but also so much more to explore and take in. I’m changing my own life, and I’m doing it with purpose. That knowledge makes the goodbye a little bit easier.

I’m going to be okay.

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