The Complicated Process of Leaving

February 7, 2011

“He turned the handle, cracked open the door.. Caught my eye with a quick smirk and nod.. And was gone.”

Why has leaving because such a complicated process? Well, I guess it really isn’t. I mean, you go somewhere, hang out for a while, then leave.. Simple enough. Bing bang boom.

But I guess there is “leaving” and “leaving.” I’ll just cut straight to the chase. I’m leaving for Africa in 4 days.. One of the biggest leavings of my meager 27 years. And I find it wearing on me. Not really in the way the I don’t want to leave. This has been something in the works for almost an entire year! Something that I have prepared for, tried to wrap my head around (or not, trying to leave most expectations on this side of the plane ride). But the awkwardness of this is driving me crazy.

Have you ever seen the movie Elizabeth Town? In the beginning of this movie, he is in the process of getting fired. He has authored a new design for a shoe, and it fails big time. Costing the company roughly $1 billion in losses. In the scene of his last day at the office, he says that he has become a recent connoisseur of “last looks.” You know, the kind of look someone gives you where they know that they are pretty sure they will never see you again. I can relate to this. Not really in the “last looks” category, but more in just the “awkward moments” category.

This was HUGE when my mother passed away. Someone that I know would see me, they’d come over and say “hi”, and then proceed to awkwardly stumble over their condolences.. It was always appreciated.. Often endearing.. Occationally annoying.. And after I had experienced this for many months, it started to become funny! Oh, I would not show any hints of humor on my face, but I had experienced so much of it I could pretty much predict the moments where people would struggle for words. And it was funny! I know they were being sincere, and I was sincere in my acceptence of their care and concern. But I had become a connoisseur of these moments. And I think it’s pretty much the only way I could manage these moments is through a healthy buffer of  humor. Anyways, I digress.

I’m kind of hitting the same point with my leaving thing. I have been saying my good-byes for MONTHS! And the frequent moments of awkwardness is seriously wearing on me. Dispite my connoisseur-ness.. I really want people to start acting normal again. For friends to be friends. For family to be family. Long story short, I don’t want to be reminded that I will be away from everyone for the next 6 months. Because I like normal moments with friends, and these are the moments that I think cherrish the most. All in all though, I think it’s just the duration of the leaving that has been the bad part. Friends being sad or awkward seeing me leave is in itself a really awesome thing! God has provided a lot of people that love me! How can I complain? But leaving in itself should be quick. Decide where you’re going and who you’re going with, pack your bags, kiss your loved ones good-bye, and shove off from the dock.

Please forgive me if I’m coming across snide or ungrateful. I’m just frusterated with people seeming to miss me before I’m gone! Can I hang out, enjoy your company, talk about our present life without making my leaving a constant topic? Let me love you today while I am still here. Save up my present moments with you, so I can remember them when I’m gone.

I’ll be sure to shoot you that smirk and nod on my way out.. And yes, that was a tear in my eye..

But I’ll be back before you know it.

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