I move to Florence, really officially this time, on Tuesday night. In 72 hours from this very moment I’ll be in new staff orientation with my school district.
This is terrifying.
In an attempt to soothe my mind and heart, I chose to spend the last week and a half hopping across the country to see many of my beloved friends from college. The ones I miss all. the. time.
I spent a few days in Louisiana, a day in Dallas, a night in Hartford, and now I’m sitting on the end of a weekend in DC. I’m crying on the couch.
It’s been wonderful, yes. It’s usually pretty great, until everyone is getting ready to leave, and then inevitable question pops up.
“So, when am I going to see you again?”
I don’t know. I don’t have any idea. It’s not tomorrow when I run into in the lobby of our apartment building, I can tell you that much. It won’t be next weekend, next month, and so if we’re being 800% honest here there’s a pretty good chance it will be at least next year.
I get a lot of, “I’ll come visit you I want to meet your students!” I smile and invite them to stay anytime. “I’m only an hour and a half from Myrtle Beach! We can drive to see the peachoid!” (I don’t mention that it’s three hours away). But I can see the truth. I live in the middle of nowhere. The closest airports are relatively small, making flights expensive. Everyone gets to be busy. It’s too close to Thanksgiving, too close to the holidays, too busy at work, too expensive, etc. I know. I’ll probably use the same excuses.
I came back to DC thinking everything would be exactly the same. I don’t have any idea why I thought this, but I did. Spoiler alert: it’s not. I’ve been gone for two months and I feel like this city is an alternate universe. No one lives in the same place anymore. My friends live in areas of DC I didn’t realize existed. I go out and run into a handful of people I know, unlike the times where I couldn’t walk 200 feet without running into a cloud of GW students I loved.
I thought I could just walk in and sit in the same chair in the same place in the same apartment with the same people and everything would be the same. You don’t realize how much everything changes. They don’t want to hear a story about your kids for the 1,000th time. They don’t want to listen to me whine about Willow Pape. I don’t want to discuss whether or not I’d read Monica Lewinsky’s biography. I have no opinion in the “Is Hillary a lesbian?” debate.
My friends, well, they’ve found new people to fill the holes I left behind. I’m gone. Why did I expect them to leave the hole I left empty until I walked into it twice a year? No. That was dumb of me. The world moves on and it changes and mine did too. I have new friends.
I just wanted to pretend for a while. I wanted to pretend like nothing has changed when in fact, everything has.