I think I’m physically almost ready to go. The bags are packed; the house is clean and organized; I have a ride to the airport. I have no doubt that I’m forgetting something – to do, to pack, to organize – but it’s too late to figure it out now. I have two checked suitcases, one carry on and one computer bag; everything I’ve managed to stuff in there will have to do.
Mentally? Not so much. I feel exceptionally unprepared for what I’m getting ready to do. Somehow, it seemed so far away – so unreal, I suppose – that I never really wrapped my head around the fact that I’m leaving the country for 10 months. It’s exciting and it’s an honor but it’s also terrifying.
Rockford and I said our goodbyes last night. It wasn’t easy knowing that we’ve come to our end, even if we’ve known it was coming ever since we started this thing. For all our differences, we somehow worked, and I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss him: his solidity, his smile, his sense of humor, his kindness. I’m going to miss his arm around me at night, that feeling it brought that I don’t have to do this all on my own, that someone had my back, at least in that moment.
I do have to do this all on my own. That has brought tears to my eyes more than once today. For the last year, I had somebody who cared about me and enjoyed my company and wanted to talk to me; now, I’m solitary again – and no matter what adventures the future might bring, right now, it hurts to be alone again.
Which seems fitting somehow, since I’ve come to the end of this blog, too. I started this as a newly single graduate student, trying to figure out her place in the world professionally and personally. I’m a newly single associate professor now, still trying to figure it out. I’ve learned a few things along the way, I suppose. I’ve had some amazing highs and some horrific lows. I’ve had relationships come and go while my friends stayed right beside me. I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin while wondering how I can manage the life that I have, like it or not.
It’s been quite the virtual adventure here, and I’ve enjoyed “meeting” those of you who were interested enough in my meanderings to pop in and offer a thought or two. I’ll still have thoughts; I may even write them down somewhere; but it’s time to close the book on this particular experiment.
Thanks, my friends.