I taught college, my first teaching job and when I left, it was so sad. The students and faculty gave me a farewell party and said their good-byes. I still miss those kids, those people and that particular job. I felt like I belonged. I miss the camaraderie with my colleagues.
I also left my family and moved to the Wild West. I knew I would be back to see them, but initial good-bye was hard. I left everyone and everything and no matter who you are, me included, or what dream I was following, I couldn’t help but have second thoughts and twinges of guilt.
Leaving doesn’t just mean leaving a place or a job. Leaving is just a parting, a saying good-bye to a person you may or may not ever see again. When my mother died I said good-bye forever. When I left the Wild West, I left kids, my students, who I knew I would never see most of again. When I said good-bye to AlaskaSam in DC many years ago, awash in tears and standing at the airport terminal, watching his limo pull away, I never knew that would be the last time I would see him, so far.
More recently I said good-bye to an old friend, a lover, a possible future… It was in a parking lot, and we kissed and chatted. I was calm on the outside and frantic on the inside that this connection might not last, no matter how much I wanted it. For the first time in a very long time that I can even remember, I didn't want to leave, didn't want to say good-bye, didn't want to break a connection.
But we both got into our automobiles and I drove away first, holding my breath, forcing myself to not look back, willing my fingers to not call Trooper on the cell phone. I drove away, hating that I was so good at leaving.