*I’m taking a week-long break from PF blogging while I focus on freelancing and rest my PF brain. I’m publishing a few non-PF related, previous written pieces in the meantime. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂
The following is my memory of leaving Detroit & moving to Seattle…and never looking back.
About an hour into the trip she finally closed her eyes, while her friend drove in silence.
Up until then it had been too hard to close her eyes, in fear she would see the faces of the people she was leaving behind.
It had been easy up until that point. So many things had to get done: closing bank accounts, mapping the route, packing and shipping boxes…moving forward. Always moving forward.
But now life was catching up to her, and the realization that a new chapter was about to begin made her gasp for air. “Breathe,” she told herself, “just breathe…”
She turned her head away from the driver’s side to look out the window. The terrain was flat and boring, as it had been her whole life. Soon, she thought, she would be seeing the majestic earth rise up out of the ground and guide her to her new home.
Home. What a strange word. Was home the new place or was home the place she had just left? Or maybe it was neither. How odd to be without a solid definition.
That realization hit her hard as she let her head fall on the headrest while she held back tears. This had been her decision and her decision alone. One that came with no solid plans, and a big leap of faith that everything would turn out OK.
She definitely had doubters. They had expressed how hard it was to break into her field in her new city. They tried to scare her with horror stories about what it would be like to move in with a roommate she hardly knew. There was always a small part of her that wondered if they were right.
But there were the surprises too, especially those coming from her family, who on one hand probably didn’t expect the introverted girl who hardly ever traveled to be taking such a huge risk, but on the other hand used to wonder what she was thinking about while she sat on the porch for hours on those summer nights. Perhaps she was dreaming? And she was. From the time she could remember.
What impressed her was their willingness to let her go, even though it was hard for them to watch their little girl pack all her life’s possessions into one tiny car and drive away.
And then one day in April it came time to leave. And the words were difficult to find. But she knew in her heart it was the right time.
It was the first time she had ever seen her dad cry.
The flat farmlands stretched on for miles, each mile marker a reminder of the distance she was putting between her old life. And then the farmlands became rolling hills, and the rolling hills became mountains, until she finally reached the west coast.
At the end of her tiresome journey, she closed her eyes again. “I made it,” she thought, exhaling for the first time in five days.
She thought about them again.
And even though they were supportive, they always told her that if she ever wanted to, she could come back home. She smiled at them and said, “maybe someday…”
But deep down she knew it was a one-way road.