I lived in Virginia Beach for longer than was good for me. When the time came to say goodbye I was more than ready.
The hardest part was the same thing I face when I was in the military. It wasn’t leaving the location or the job, it was the people that was difficult.
Making friends is always hard to do, but somehow I seem to go from alone to having a good core group of friends in the blink of an eye. It’s never easy and somehow the socialization of it all seems to culminate in the last few weeks or months of me spending years in the same place.
I would like say I’m used to it, but I don’t think I ever was or ever will be. I’m happiest when I move every four or five years. I’m not sure if it’s the nomad in me or the excitement of change or that I haven’t found what I am looking for. I do know that leaving behind friends is the hardest part.
It was never more necessary for me as when I left Virginia; to move to a better place, a better space, and a better me.
This past weekend I flew back to that place I left in order to surprise one of my closest friends. She, like me, was long overdue to move on from Virginia. She has seen many ups and downs and been harassed by George the Helpful Friendly Ghost. Actually, I don’t know what he is, but he is always causing her some sort of mischief.
In the 8 years I have known her, she has collected several styles of medical boots. If it’s not one foot or Achilles that’s bad then it’s the other. I have ordered several hundreds of thousands of bubble wrap so that I don’t have to worry about her landing in a body cast just for standing up.
When I found out she was standing in the softball field while the game was in progress I almost had a heart attack. Can you imagine a softball actually coming at her? Oh, wait it did…how she survived that without injury is beyond me. Maybe George was on vacation that day.
She was generally doing ok, but the edges were gray and withering. It was time that she moved on and left George behind, but she needed to do it in her own time. The time was now. And I am happy for her.
This will give her time to herself to find what she really is about. It will give her time to adjust to a fabulous new job and reconnect with long time friends — I, unfortunately, am not one of them, as we are still states apart.
It will give her immediate family space to find themselves. When they join her it will be a great adventure for all.
They will come into their own and hopefully find peace, happiness, and a renewed sense of purpose. I hope, like me, she energizes her passion — for writing — for living — for laughing.
There is something to be said for packing up and moving on. A clean slate, a fresh start and enthusiasm for life. New adventures and things to discover about your new home.
This is the ultimate in leaving your comfort zone. It is amazing what you can discover not only about yourself, but of your current friends and family. You will find strength where you thought you had none. You will find out who is willing to make that extra effort to stay in your life.
You will change and grow as you learn new things. Finding new friends is difficult, sometimes overwhelming. But my friend has people she can lean on in her new home town. She has a job she is moving to that will give her a break from the newness of it all.
When she’s not working, she will have time to get the lay of the land before her family joins her. She will reconnect and build closer ties with the friends she already has in the new area. She will thrive and grow and find new life where Virginia was sucking it all out through the stagnation of repetitiveness.
I often wonder if the sameness eats away at people’s passion for life. Does aging make you more flotsam or is it the sameness that keeps us in a box?
Regardless of the stagnation, it will be set free with a long distance move. I think nothing but good will come of it for all involved.
She has always made me laugh and I cannot wait to be regaled with grand stories of the road trip (which she abhors) to the new co-workers to recon of Atlanta.
I must say, I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to have her tour me around Atlanta.
Good luck! Be safe my friend and may you forever leave George behind.