The house is a quiet, empty mess this afternoon. All of the books, boxes and furniture were picked up yesterday by the PODS drivers, and all that’s left in the house is an air mattress, our iMac, some clothes and a bunch of trash and old junky furniture that we are throwing away. Our container of belongings started its journey west just this morning. Ours doesn’t begin for four more days. The way the world swirled around us these last couple of months makes today feel like the eye of a huge storm.
As I was clearing out my cubicle at work yesterday afternoon, I got the text from my husband that the container had been picked up, and was driven off to our new home. By then I had already invited my coworkers to strip the valuables from my area (bulletin board, shelving, bookcases, printers, etc.) and I was sitting in my green chair in front of my computer at my desk for the last time. But it didn’t look like mine anymore. And it was right then that everything became very real for me.
We went out for drinks after work and a few of my coworkers were there, as well as some cherished friends who came out just to see us. And I was just as surprised by who came, as I was about who didn’t show up. There was a moment or two of absolute irony as I looked around me and saw some friends whom I’d had disconnected with some years ago. They were here. But then, some whom I had taken for granted would want to see Shawn and me for the last time before we left, they were absent. I have more to think on this, but it was a strange dichotomy that left me feeling both disappointed and…sadly, rather unsurprised.
These last few days are filled with awkward goodbyes. Goodbye is something I have never handled well. Many of my biggest goodbyes have been left unsaid. My mother and my father, for instance. My grandmother too. As a result I often show the most inappropriate emotional response while in the moment. I giggle, crack jokes, pull away from the teary hug just a little too early. I generally don’t cry, but leave the other person a mess while I remain stoic and uncomfortable. In a way it seems much worse than just letting myself feel sad in the moment.
I dunno. Crying by myself later in the car just seems so much more appropriate. 🙂
We have four more days until we take off for our big drive. I am in a holding pattern of boredom, unhealthy food and cleaning. I’m sluggish, I don’t feel much like running, and I can’t sleep past 6am. The dog is restless. So am I. I’m writing this blog post right now because I literally can’t get myself motivated to do anything else. I know it’ll be over soon, though. The “goodbye New England” phase will be through, and then we will finally be able to look forward to the “Welcome Home” feeling instead.
I’ve already planned out our stops along the drive. Ohio, Nebraska, Colorado and Nevada. I’m excited to see the progression of changes from one state to another, from ocean to trees to flat land to corn fields to mountains to desert, then to ocean again. I’ve seen very few places in the U.S. I’ll be glad to say I’ve experienced this journey, even if I am just driving through without really stopping.
Shawn and I are already talking about what we’ll do when we arrive. Shop for new furniture to replace what wouldn’t fit through doorways or inside the container. Drive down to Mission Beach and buy ourselves a carne asada burrito from one of the taco stands. Have drinks with our newly local friends. Get California driver’s licenses.
And I’ve already got a few plans of my own. I can’t wait to get my feet onto some trails out there. I’m saving a bunch of reviews I need to write, because I want them to be from my new San Diego perspective. I want to finally meet Vanessa and Shacky, and their adorable dog Ginger. I want to buy myself a bike for cross-training and errands, and a hammock for relaxing afternoons.
I can’t wait to find out what I’ll love about San Diego. I want to smell the air in October and know if it’s anything like the fall air in New England. I want to relish in a winter without snow. Drive 15 minutes to the ocean.
Right now my life is at a complete standstill, and full of nothing but potential. This is the feeling of starting over. And it feels fine.
August 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM
Wow. I thought you weren’t leaving until the fall. I had no idea you were so close to embarking on your westward journey.
I will never forget driving through a thousand miles of flat, and FINALLY seeing the Rockies emerge behind a hazy red sunset… my first glimpse of my “new home.” I wish you the most exciting trip, and may your next chapter kick off with nothing but joy. 🙂
August 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Thank you, Killeen! I suppose not knowing stuff is the side effect of turning off other peoples status updates on Facebook and not having a texting plan. What a world we live in, eh?
August 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I know, I know. I guess I follow in my mom’s footsteps when she claims she was born in the wrong century. At least I’ve put aside my quill and inkwell for email. Well, most of the time, anyhow. 😉 I am around the next few days in case you want to take a break from the last minute craziness… but I totally get it if it’s not in your hand of cards. If not: CA or bust, babe! Live it up.
September 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM
I seem to have spent alot of time in my life saying goodbye and I have even slunk out of the backdoor rather than face it. I’m not proud but it seems like the best thing to do sometimes. I am a ‘look forward’ type of person and and jealous of your big adventure. Best of luck.
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