I wonder if every day until we leave I will have to carefully craft how I handle my life. Last night I worked hard to get a peaceful sleep; I achieved it. One victory in a series of perilous days to come. It seems like my world, for the next four weeks (and probably more), is going to be one of pacing myself. A skill that is not my strongest.
It is harder to leave a place that loves you than a place that doesn’t, and people who love you than people who don’t (go to Waterfront Pizza – on the “bad checks” public-shame list I believe our names are up there with a “x2” or “x3” after them. I can’t quite tell, I have to squint to see and I worry they’ll think I’m being nosy although I’m really only checking out my own self). The verdicts are coming in and frankly, people – in the most loveliest of ways – are making this hard on us. Today I am stopped by a mother of one of Sophie’s preschool peers and her very sweet, very gracious and genuine sadness makes it difficult for me to fly my very brief, very matter-of-fact, very surface-level rehearsed lines. God, of course we are so sad to leave. Do I have to go through a heartbreaking conversation once or twice or more a day? Thusly I adopt cheer and a deep breath and perhaps it comes off as flippancy, which is of course not how I feel about this measured decision.
My husband reports his officemates keep stopping in to ask him why he’s going, to clasp his hand, to report they will miss him. The proprietor at our most-frequented Mexican restaurant gives Ralph a double-armed hug. A very close friend tells me yesterday she’s planning on being mean to me so she gets to leave me, instead of the other way around (nervous laughter… I hope she’s joking). Today Ralph runs into to a man I worked with for years at the paper mill, accompanied by his wife who I worked with at the Farm this summer. Ralph IMs me:
Ralph: She said you were an amazing person, and that summer at the farm getting to know you was special to her. Her husband says, said ‘Hey, it’s flatter there [Grays Harbor]! You could get really into mountain biking. Quinault, and some other places north of Monte …’
“.. oh, and there’s Olympia! You guys would love it there. We used to live at the beach, and we’d drive once a month to shop at the coop up there.”
The supportive, excited, forward-thinking comments are great. The give pause, a template for positive yearnings to come, instead of sad thoughts of what we leave behind.