||[Feb. 13th, 2003|01:41 pm]
I’ve always been the one to say goodbye.
Looking back over my life, I see a series of leavings, starting when I was a kid and my parents moved around a lot. I got good at making friends quickly—and good at leaving them behind. We never settled anywhere for more than a couple of years, until I got to high school. But even there I was good at letting go. I have no contact with any of my classmates, either from high school or college. I made good friends in Alaska, who are still friends, but I don’t call them that often. Even my family doesn’t get the kind of attention that some people give theirs. We talk now and then, but I haven’t seen my mother in over 12 years. I miss her some, but it doesn’t impact my day-to-day life.
I got to thinking about this because of two things. First, my ex is leaving Alaska, meaning that Amy will be leaving behind her friends there. She has been in the same place and known the same kids for many years now. She’s excited, but the leaving is hard. I have mixed feelings—it’s fabulous that she will be so much closer to us, but this snaps more of my connections to Alaska, making it tougher to find a reason to go back and visit people. When people ask me where I’m from, I’m much more likely to say “Alaska” than “Oregon.” I made a life there, I lived in only two cities, I knew people for the first time. It’s tough to watch that connection dwindle.
The other part is that my best friend is probably leaving town very soon. Cleveland is a terrible place to get work just now, and opportunity is calling to him in other places. This time, I will be the one left behind, I will be the one who has to go on being in the same place, I will be the one who finds unexpected emptiness in the places we used to go together. I’m not saying it will be easy on him, just that he will be spared the memory triggers.
I hope it doesn’t have to happen. I hope that there will be a job here for him. I hope that things will settle back down and there will once again be Saturday morning coffees and wanderings through the witchy stores and country rides with the top down and happy hugs and all of it. Because he doesn’t want to go. Because I love him and want him around. Because I don’t want to be the one listening to the goodbye.