“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow but through it all I still know quite certainly just to be alive is a grand thing.” -Agatha Christie
I am currently sitting in a coffee shop where nobody knows my name. I look around and the faces are unfamiliar. The accents are strange to my ear and I don’t recognize the people or places they mention in their conversations.
Three weeks ago I moved to another state; transferred with my job, packed my car and left. I left my 13 year old golden retriever, Liberty, my family and my friends. I put my fish, Frank Sinatra, in a cup in my cup holder and I packed my guitar, a quarter of my book collection, a few other belongings and left.
I left people who love me and people I love. In fact, I have felt more loved the last year than I have my entire life. I couldn’t sit in the coffee shop where I worked and write for more than a couple of minutes without someone joining me. Whenever I went to restaurants or events I knew most people there. Most of my customers had become family. I had people to talk to me or sit with me on my good days and bad. I had people who listened to me and read whatever I sent them to read. I was respected and loved at work. I had people from all backgrounds and walks of life that were my kindred spirits. In most areas of my life I finally felt like I belonged and was accepted for who I am. So why leave now?
It was time. I am needed elsewhere for now. The walls of my town were closing in on me and I was suffocating. My eyes had lost their brightness a long time ago. There wasn’t anything left to do but leave. I was a novel in a town still learning the alphabet. The people I love most in this world are there but I couldn’t be anymore. I don’t know what will happen in the future or what will happen tomorrow.
I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I don’t know if I’ll find what I’m looking for or even what I’m looking for. I don’t know. I do know that I’m changing and I’m sure the people I left are changing. And one day we can catch up to each other. I miss them all and I know most miss me.
My last day of work I had my closest and dearest friends come so I could make them one last drink and see me my last day as a barista at my home coffee shop. I tried to remember everything: people’s faces, their hugs, my view from behind my espresso machine, where I had spent the majority of the last two years. Some of the best memories of my life happened during that time and I’ll never forget. In a lot of ways I feel like I grew up over over the last two years. A lot of firsts. A lot of joy and a lot of pain. And as I walked out the door I took one final glance around knowing that it would all be different after that night.
Life is deep. Life is real. As are the people in it. I hope all my readers (all 2 of you) learn and grow and go after what you want this year. Even if it’s painful. Even if you don’t know the outcome. Even if it seems impossible. Just do it. Just ask what you’ve been wanting to ask. Just go after what you want. If you don’t go for it you’ll never know what could have happened. This is the time. Please join me, a vintage nomad, on an adventure of a lifetime. May all you hope for come true in 2016. For it is a special year.