Saying bye is hard. I feel like I've fallen out of love, but I am extremely excited about my next step. I guess I've fallen out of love with a city and it takes shedding a little part of myself to grow and start anew somewhere else. Change requires discomfort. Even when you make the decision to shake things up, to try something new, the process of wrapping up a chapter of life is still sad.
Moving is always a pain, but it's a great time to purge and get rid of the extras. I have a hallway of things to donate and give away. Clothes I never wear, fabric I've never used, books I just won't read. Everything important to me is totally intangible--my relationships, my experiences, my being. Having a strong sense of self and a huge appreciation for my friends and family is what keeps me going and allows to be take my home with me where ever I go, but it's still hard and I can't wait to plant some roots, settle a bit with my sister and create a new home in a new place.
When I moved away from Bilbao, Spain, I left a few suitcases of stuff. Clothes, bedding, artwork. Things I wanted to keep but just couldn't justify shipping halfway across the world. I thought I would be back relatively soon, but life happened differently. I only sometimes think about a certain skirt or my favorite purse. That green peacoat. But things change and material items are only as good as the meaning behind them. Even when I was back in Spain, it was too hard for me to even think about stopping in Bilbao, it would have been weird to not just stay and pick up where I left off. I don't know how it will be coming back here, but I know I'll be back, if only for a short stay.
And so part of me is crying, really hard, sad to say goodbye to so many amazing friends. Bid farewell to my favorite spots and have my last times at my normal hangouts. Yet, part of me can't even face it, can't admit there is a last time, because I know there really isn't. Life is just a strange continuation of being in a place, through places, during different periods of time. The relationships I've made here will never end. It's not really a goodbye but instead an until then. You can't miss what you don't leave behind. There is no last time. There is no end.
And yet there has to be an end, a closed door, so that the next one can open up. Maybe it's a little bit of both. Hasta luego...as they say.
(top photograph I just saw at the New Photography 2013 exhibit at the MOMA -- I highly recommend it. Video shared from my good friend in NY).