How do you wrap up 7 years of a life? How do you tie off all of the loose ends, the unfinished business, the burgeoning relationships, the tried-and-true friendships, the incomplete conversations? How do you look at this breathtaking city, blue and green and gleaming, and then turn to walk away? How do you say goodbye?
There is no way. I would rather just quietly slip away, ignoring the truth and pretending that everything is going to remain the same, than actually face the fact that I am leaving my amazing, wonderful life in Seattle.
My car is loaded: vintage flowered armchair, grandmother’s copper-front cabinet, dishes, shoes, linens, artwork, hiking gear, and more clothing than any one girl needs in my Louis Vuitton luggage (a yellow plastic laundry basket). My possessions are packed Tetris-style, and stacked to the ceiling; who needs a rear-view mirror when you have one on each side? My new car stereo is providing me with music for the first time in two years. And my new reality is glaringly obvious when I look at my key ring, down to just two keys: the ignition, and the Club.
In the same way that the summer sun has heroically held on well into September, I am holding onto everything that this city has offered me. I am savoring every moment, every sight, every sound. I am sipping my hazelnut Americano and pretending that when I close my laptop, I will not walk to my car and drive away from the first thing that I ever truly fell in love with: Seattle, my home, the city that wraps me like a hug and tells me to stay awhile.
But even if I deny it – even if I pretend that I will be back next week, that this is just a vacation – even still, here I go.
So it ends. And so it begins. Let The Big Trip commence.