Thursday, April 26, 2012

Leaving America

I'm sitting in the Portland International Airport right now waiting for my flight to San Francisco. From there it is on to Seoul, my new home. I have no idea where my apartment will be as of right now. This whole thing is crazy.

Not even twelve hours ago the HR person from the school I am now working for told me I would be flying out today. I hurried to clean my apartment and get everything ready to leave. The whole week before I had slowly, slowly been getting things prepared for this day, but I honestly figured they would give me 24 hours notice before my flight. Oh well. I stayed up until just passed 4:30 AM last night and woke up at before 6. The night before I had slept three hours. As you can imagine, I am exhausted.

The whole of last night remains a strange memory. I felt so sad and alone clearing my apartment, my home for the past six months, of all traces of me. Over and over I ran into reminders of the times I had there. In one corner, the first toy I bought Catface when I first got him, in the other, a funny note Jackie had left on my mirror. I had already given away a good deal of clothes to Goodwill and taken most of my things to the storage unit, but I still had so much stuff to take care of. Every time I turned around there was something else to throw away or decide if I want to keep. I ended up making one extra trip to the storage unit before heading to the airport. I had to.

Throwing the less important things away felt wasteful. I have a hard time getting rid of things. Each dumb little object I came to reminded me of the plans I had for it and why I hadn't gotten rid of it before. It made me feel like a failure. I always have so many great plans, but I have a hard time making them happen. It's these little things. I know what I want to do, but I distract myself with the knowledge that carrying out my plan will not take too much time. Day by day I put off things until I run into the prospect of never being able to do them. And that smacked me around all night.

And as for being wasteful, that was a ton of money I threw away, essentially. And when I come back to the U.S. (not for a long time), I'll have to buy all that stuff over again. But it just did not make sense to keep trash cans in the storage unit for example.

Then I started missing Catface. A lot. I wasn't the best pet owner; he was my first pet. But I know he needed me. That made me feel special in a way I hadn't before. I wanted to take care of him and he needed me to. Every day he would jump in my lap and fall asleep. I loved it. And when he was sick it hurt me. I hated that. And now I don't have him and it makes me feel like I failed somehow. As if a truly loving person would have done more to keep him. I didn't even say goodbye before I left El Paso. I forgot. I forgot. You know, I have no idea if he even realizes that I gave him up, but I can't get over that I passed him off onto someone else.

All of that, plus the stress of making sure I have all my papers in order and bags packed with everything I need, et cetera, et cetera, overshadowed all the good things that are coming up. I'll be able to make more than the minimum payments on my debts. I'll be doing something I care about. I'll be having new experiences. I don't feel stuck at a dead end. And, most importantly, I get to be with Jackie again. Still, last night just felt like a night to reflect on the past.

And I suppose that means today is a day to look toward the future. It is bright.
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