Tonight is my last night in California for a month. I know that doesn’t seem like much but considering I don't have a place of my own to come back to, it is. I'm saying goodbye to a state I've called home for the past 4.5 years. It feels like more than a vacation because I'm really and truly blowing in the wind. When someone asks for me an address I have to think about it — do I give them the address of the place I'm housesitting? Do I use my parents' address? Do I use my former apartment because that's the last place I lived?
This evening I sat in my friends' backyard in San Jose all by my lonesome. They went out of town unexpectedly so I again find myself housesitting. Watching the sun turn the mountains in the distance burnt sienna, my heart broke a little. I don't know where I'm living in November and quite possibly it won't be here.
Yes, I'm being a bit maudlin, but this is what it means to say goodbye. To close a chapter and start something new. My friend went to a financial conference recently and one of her takeaways was, "Don't forget you're asking a whole lot when you ask someone to change." I think the same is true of ourselves as well. Even though I grow and change ceaselessly, that doesn't mean it gets any easier.
Here is what I know. It's difficult to say goodbye, even for a short while, but it's so we can welcome in something better. I realize I'm talking specifically about moving out of California and becoming a gypsy, but I think the same applies to anything we say goodbye to: a romantic partner, a job, a lifestyle, an addiction. Painful feelings will come up, we may want to say, "I changed my mind! I'll keep things the way they are!" but we cannot. One of the things I've learned in the past year is life can become so uncomfortable it forces us to change. I never had any intention of reliving my Just a Girl from Kansas experience but here I am, housesitting and living out of my suitcase once again.
Do I have anything profound to say? No. Mostly I'm sad. Sad to be leaving behind a state I love and a community I love for the great unknown. But I'm doing it anyway. Because I know I need to. I know I need this time to rest and rejuvenate. To start writing again. To get my body in working order. To heal parts of myself that are crying out for attention. And that means I have to say goodbye to California for a while.
I dream of a world where we say goodbye to things that no longer serve us. A world where we change because we know it's in our best interest. A world where we embrace the big question marks and trust we're doing the right thing even if it makes us sad. A world where we know we have to say goodbye for a while in order to say hello to something new.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.