What do I know about moving on?
Very little and quite a lot.
I am still very much a woman who romanticizes the sweet smiles and tender kisses of past lovers. At 25 years old, I am barely capable of donating clothes bought for myself 10 years ago to the thrift store (I mean, c’mon, they still fit!). And although I have moved my physical belongings between full houses, duplexes, flats, and shotgun apartments, exactly 12 times within the past 7 years, I still feel the overwhelming breeze of nostalgia sweep over me when it is time to say goodbye to each of these homes.
And now, for move number lucky 13, I will say goodbye to a physical home and to an entire city that I considered home for the past 13 months. The ever mystical, New Orleans. A place where I found and lost love; where I worked and then did not work; where I met acquaintances and then formed friendships; and where I laid my head down on the pillow with a sigh of, “yes,” in the evening.
How does one leave this place? I feel I have no experience in goodbye. I hate goodbye. I pretend it does not exist and so, I tend to just leave without much explanation. I pin it down as a failure to express my emotions but it could also be attributed to my secret infatuation with moving on just as casually as I settled in.
I know how to leave. I have left people, places, and awkward situations many times throughout my life. Still, it is never easy to walk away from a person or an opportunity based on subtle nudges within your heart leading you to move on. It is difficult to describe exactly why the traveler must depart from his or her path. Sometimes, you just know.
I love New Orleans, I really do. But I feel the gentle ping of curiosity leading me to journey elsewhere, knowing that I can leave and return to this place as I desire.
That is what I know about moving on. Although it is always hard for me to say goodbye, I am comforted knowing that a goodbye shuts the door for now, but not forever. Instead of finishing the chapter with no intention of re-reading, I choose to bookmark my favorite pages in hopes that I will someday return to the sentences that guided me through my journey. And then, I close the book with gratitude and reach for my next story.