“I always knew you would leave.”
In a series of goodbyes, this is perhaps the one that sticks with me the most. Goodbye may have been inevitable, even predictable to those who know me best, but it hasn’t made the process of picking up my life any easier. In fact, intentionally letting go is kind of excruciating.
The day I left Missouri, I stood in the middle of my empty living room bawling. We are often taught to move forward without looking back, to stay strong, and to hold back tears. But in that moment, I allowed myself to be heartbreakingly present in the memories and attachment I have to my home, to those I’ve loved, and to those I’ve ultimately lost because of my decision to leave.
Moving was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but it has also forced me to be the most honest, raw, and vulnerable version of myself. I craved love, adventure, change, new perspective, a deeper connection with someone, and I really just wanted to feel like I mattered – that what I did meant something and was valued by others. I recognized that my current circumstances weren’t allowing me to get where I wanted to be. I wasn’t in a place where I felt like I had the tools to be happy. And the only way I knew how to change that was to close one chapter and make room for a new one.
In all honesty, I feel fear and grief every day. I have felt it throughout the entire process. But I’m embracing it and moving toward it. There are days I’m convinced I’ve made the right decision and I’m incredibly excited for all these new opportunities. Then there are days I’m a complete emotional wreck and wonder what I’m doing. Why didn’t I think this through more? But one thing I’m coming to understand is that there really are no wrong decisions in life. There are just experiences.
This is perhaps the most raw and vulnerable part of me. I’ve said goodbye to the old so that I can make room for the new. A free-spirit, I’ve never been one to take the straight path in life and now I realize I’m figuring out my way home. It may be the long route but for all the fear and grief it brings, I know it makes room for joy and peace too.