Wait, this isn’t “Pre-Departure”! It’s time.

I realize I’ve been gone from blogging for about a month and I’m going to quickly apologize for that (sorry!), but time to move on:

Last Friday morning I found myself in the Sex Out Loud office on the UW-Madison campus alone for the last time.  It was a strange moment.  The “goodbyes” I had just moments before experienced were rushed because the current staff was preparing to begin the fall semester training session they had that morning.  The office was dark and quiet, and except for my presence it was totally still.

I got what I went for and decided it was time to leave.  Closing the door and turning away I felt closure and for the first time in, well, forever finally ready to leave for Germany.  It was a terrific moment.  At once I felt like I was having a meaningful farewell, while also reveling in the anticipation and anxiety that comes with taking on an experience like living abroad for the entire year.

For a month I was saying “bye”, “ciao”, “aufwiedersehen”, and “adieu” over and over again and yet it all seemed somewhat meaninglessness until this past Friday morning when the whole reality of my situation was exactly that: a conscious and obvious reality.

During August, I feel like I’ve grown to understand the concept of a farewell and become even more confused by it at the same time.  It at one end seems odd to make such a big deal out of this.  In that regard, it is like conceding the relationships you have with the people to history, because they aren’t strong enough to outlast the separation.  If people are so close, why is “farewell” necessary?  Especially in today’s society where communications technologies are so good, shouldn’t “goodbye” be an archaic concept?  Considering how well connected we can remain, it seems odd to think we might be otherwise.

Still, it seems natural too.  Why?  Because of the fear of losing friends and loved ones I just mentioned!  Considering the amount of time necessary for constructing a solid relationship, and the joy that comes from the best ones, the comfort that comes from being in familiar environs, saying farewell becomes about fear not sorrow.

I don’t think anybody was sorry to see me go, and I was not sorry to leave.  But I was scared and others I think were too.  In 11 months from now, I will be different, my friends and family will be different, and our world(s) will be different.  Knowing that adjustment waits for us is scary.  But it is good to shake things up a bit in life, and force yourself out of your comfort zone.

When I closed that door at Sex Out Loud, I felt elated.  I was suddenly free from my past and ready to take on my future.  For so long I wanted to clamp myself onto the memories and experiences of my past, but it was the act of closing that door, I think, that freed me from that.  In that moment I was celebrating everything wonderful that has brought me to this moment and what was to come to pass.

I guess, I’m glad to go. I cannot tell a lie.