chaotic preparation and nostalgic goodbyes
After two years in a place I never imagined myself living, North Carolina somehow seeped in to my life and my leaving it felt rather abrupt. Raleigh doesn't readily charm the new comer; it's not a city one visits and falls in love in a week or a month. It is, rather, a city that grows on you slowly over time and eventually it feels very much like home. And so when it came time to leave a job I love, say goodbye to friends I adore, pack my things from an apartment I could live in forever, and jet to the post office at 4:45 to beg and plead that they accept the poorly packaged, unlabeled boxes of my life so that I could jump in the car and haul myself up to Vermont before hastily leaving the country -- it didn't feel real. Nevertheless me, my poor weighed down civic, and a very patient friend set out for New England through Hurricane Ernesto on 8/30.
Over the course of the past two weeks I've been scooting around visiting friends and family to say good-bye while frantically trying to tie together the seemingly endless loose ends of our fast approaching journey. As I've moved about, it has occurred to me more than once that I feel quite lost in it all - I am, for the first time in my life, without a place to call home. Rather than embracing this fact and looking forward to all of the incredible adventures that lie ahead, I have instead conjured up ridiculous nightmares and general unease about moving on and starting over, about letting go of routine, and unhealthily dwelled on thoughts of all these wonderful places I’ve lived that no longer belong to me.
So, on my drive back to VT from Boston, I did what any logical girl would do when she's overwhelmed with pre-departure stress: I stopped at a much missed dunkin donuts for a cup of iced coffee (a drink I swear actually feels like New England) and headed to Walden Pond to enjoy 40 minutes of pure unadulterated basking in the past and soak of some of its incredible calm.
I think it was Kundera who wrote: "In the sunset of dissolution, everything becomes illuminated by the aura of nostalgia." Though I'd like to think that what we're about to embark on is an incredible new beginning, I know too that with every beginning, there is something that must come to an end.
The next time I write I'll be in a different place entirely …