I remember when I was getting ready to move to Cleveland six years ago. It seemed that people who I never saw or made the effort to see (or see me) had the strongest reactions. “You’re going?! Really? Awww! (sad face)” and I thought… yeah. I’m going. Did you want to make plans after lo these four years of living in the same city but never spending intentional time together…? I felt like a face in their own personal Sgt. Pepper and suddenly having a blank spot where I was, would mess up the whole composition. There were also times I’d run into people I so rarely saw that it seemed the universe was conspiring to make sure I said goodbye to them, particularly in places I’d either never been before or meant to go or accidentally wound up in, which was pretty cool. And then there were the friends who just kind of vanished altogether. They didn’t attend any going away events or even send goodbye texts. I wondered why, if we were really friends at all or if I was being too sensitive to the very normal thing of transience in life. Now I know they simply just weren’t good friends. My good friends helped me through that entire situation. Packing, loading, little gifts, even driving with me to Ohio and making sure I had a soft landing there.
Now I’m watching that whole thing play out again through D’s experience, and it’s a little hard to witness. Simply put, he’s so far disappointed by the silence of friends he’s had his whole life. Granted, we have almost a month before we head out and so much can happen before then, but right now he’s struggling the same way I did. A stoic and resigned shrug that indicates he doesn’t care if they show up to this or that, but sad eyes that reveal his heart if you look closely enough.
I submitted my resignation today, which felt so good. My boss has asked me to stay on as freelance for design needs, and we’ll need to hammer out exactly what that means and how many hours of work he may need per week, but he also offered a letter of recommendation (without me asking) because he’s smart enough to know that I will eventually want something local and more (without me saying).
Not being much of a daydreamer or fantasizer anymore, I haven’t spent a lot of time on my back staring up at the sky, imagining wall color or furniture placement. That is, until we were approved for our lease, booked our truck, and started collecting boxes. Now it’s happening, now that the wheels are in motion. Now I find myself cruising Amazon for firewood holders (because we’ll have a wood burning fireplace), and wondering which bathroom (of the 2.5) should have the Hahn and Leia towels in it, and if we should decorate around them as a theme.
Goodbye events are starting to be planned, dinners and lunches scheduled, and most importantly maybe, time blocked for packing. It always comes down to the last second and I always forget that part until I’m well in it. Fortunately this time I have a very helpful husband who won’t let me take so much on myself, as I do, and who supports my desire to throw money at the problem by hiring muscle either with money or pizza, to pack and unpack the truck.
It all feels slightly dreamlike still, it’s far enough away that the pressure isn’t quite on yet, but there is a small stack of large, sturdy boxes leaned against a wall just waiting. Taunting. Promising. Tempting. After mid-May and we participate in a neighborhood yard sale, the house will be emptier as I mentally and emotionally prepared to sell the kitchen table I inherited from my grandmother. The 1963 chrome and Formica table I grew up making Christmas cookies at and eating spiral Kraft mac & cheese on. I’ve kept it with me through five apartments, two states, and two storage spaces, and now it sits against a wall where it supports plants, a computer monitor, mail, and the cage of our Leopard Gecko, Stavros. It’s a great table and I’m sad to part with it. Fortunately, the story is not so sad because in our new home, will be another table also inherited from my other grandmother. It’s beautiful wood, mid-century and has rapidly become a cherished piece I now get to attach to the way I attached to the other.