So I guess that it’s Thursday, and I guess that in 24 hours I will be on a plane on my way to California. I guess this is happening, and in the often used words of me that’s…weird.
When I set up the countdowns on my phone, there were 100+ days left until this move. There were five events before it, and the soonest of those was something like 20 days away. Then Katie got married and it was wonderful, and she was happy and we were all happy for her.
I started spending a lot of time with my friends, because I knew the end was coming, but I didn’t have to pack yet, I just bought tickets and made reservations. Then General Assembly happened, and I started this blog and summarily ignored it in the chaos of the past two months.
General Assembly was amazing and gave me so much energy and courage for this journey, along with a bunch of new relationships that I look forward to growing as time goes on.
20 days later, I went to Summer Institute, which was also wonderful.
I reconnected with old friends and made some new, I did what I hoped to and broke out of my shyness a bit, telling someone else’s joke at an open mic and preaching about abortion at Young Adult lead evening vespers. Those moments, sharing my honest self with people and having them hear it and find something resonant in them as well…those are amazing. Those are transcendent. In many cases, in this case, they are also often incredibly fleeting.
As I was riding a wave of good feelings at Summer Institute, I found out that my Grandpa was dying more immediately than we had anticipated. I was told that he might not make it until I got home. He did, but only just. I came home on Saturday and he passed on Sunday evening. Though I had plans that Sunday evening, I stayed with him and with my Mom. We held his hands and sang to him, though he had not been responsive in days, and stayed with him as he died. I’m thankful to have been able to be there for him, as he had so often been there for me. I am thankful also for the opportunity to share some of my spirituality and my religion with my family, and that it was helpful for them. When my Mom and Aunts could no longer think of songs from their childhood hymn books to sing, I sang a couple from ours. When Grandpa passed and we stood in a circle looking at each other with loss and confusion, I offered a prayer that a friend of mine from church had sent me. It went like this : “Beloved one, you are dead, but you are not alone. We are here with you, the beloved dead await you. You go from love into love. Carry with you only love. May our love carry you and open the way. May the air carry your spirit gently. May the fire release your soul. May the water cleanse you. May the earth receive you. May the wheel turn again and bring you to rebirth.” At Grandpa’s funeral, I offered words of remembrance for the man who gave so much to me, and to all of his 8 children, 21 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren. I was overwhelmed by the amount of love that my community showed me during this time, with friends sending positive thoughts on facebook and coming to calling hours. I remembered how lucky I am, and what wonderful people I have in my life.
Time sped on. I went to work for the last time. I moved out of the apartment I had lived in for over a year, and briefly back in to my parents’ home. I began to say my actual goodbyes to the people and places that have been my home for so long. I spent an amazing weekend with dear friends, celebrating life and love and community (and also whisky). I cried often. I cried when they gave me a book about whisky which they had all signed, and again at 3:30 in the morning when I was the only one awake, walking around my house seeing some of the people I love most packed wall-to-wall and asleep. I cried when they left the next day.
It’s a strange feeling I’ve been having the past couple days. There is sadness, there is loss, and I do cry…but it’s not only that. It is not pain like grief from death or the end of a relationship, though it is pain. It’s not the pain of endings though, not only at least. This pain is growth. It will be uncomfortable at times, but the growing is worth it. As are the possibilities.
I’ve been watching this Ze Frank video linked to me by a friend a lot lately. I get stuck on different parts every time I listen to it, but I will always come back to “Warts and all, let’s start this shit up.” I may be a little scared, and this may not be easy, but I’m doing it and it’s going to be amazing. So let’s go. It’s time for a new adventure.