Getting Ready for Departure – DC Chapter

I’ve been thinking a lot about finishing chapters, saying goodbye, and opening new doors. In twelve days I leave DC, perhaps for good. I’ve lived in DC for over five years, and I’ve enjoyed it. But, I’m not sad to leave. The truth is I’ve never been sad to leave anywhere.

Departure is often charged with foreboding. It signals a change from the way things have been to something else unknown. Often departure brings with it a sense of discomfort and sadness. Moving away from your family or friends means you won’t see them as much as you did. It means your habits and routines are going to change and so to will the habits and routines of your friends, family, and coworkers.

Change is hard; it inherently bucks the status quo. But change—taking the leap, trying something new—is the only way I’ve ever found you can truly push yourself to the next level. Maybe it’s just that I like to test myself, but I am always drawn to the things that challenge me most. I often pursue the next steps that are so difficult and different for me that they are scary. Yet, I’m a cautious person. I ask a lot of questions. I think about scenarios. I make contingency plans for those scenarios and for the likely event that those scenarios won’t occur.

I don’t think goodbye is the end. We often place a lot of value in geography—mostly proximity. And while living close to where you work makes sense, and perhaps is necessary for your sanity, living close to the people you care about is not a requirement. I’d say it’s a luxury. If you care about someone you will make time for them. Today there are so many ways to make time for people that don’t require you to be in the same room all the time. I won’t list them, but here’s a hint—Internet and telecommunications. Don’t get me wrong, face time is important. But just because I move doesn’t mean I forget about you. For me, our friendship is more than convenience.

I don’t know what the next step, going to Paraguay, is going to bring. As a planner this drives me crazy. But, I also trust my gut. My gut tells me this is the right thing, and my gut has never been wrong. Sometimes I don’t listen to my gut feelings; sometimes I ignore them. But in the end, I usually come around and realize that things would have been a lot simpler if I had listened to them in the first place.

I’m excited to leave. I can’t wait. I will miss you, everyone who has made DC amazing. I won’t miss you in a pining way or in a sad way. But I will think about you often, what you said and the times we shared together. I’m not so foolish as to think things will be the same once I leave—but, I do think our friendship will continue to grow. Thanks for supporting me as I cross this new threshold; it’s going to be hard and I need you.

Next stop is Vermont. Then I’m off to Paraguay!