Being in DC has been great, it feels like a warm bath: comfortable. Seeing friends has been wonderful and the familiarity is refreshing. Soothing even. Yet the inevitable has begun – forgetting street names, getting lost, noticing all the new bars, stores and restaurants that have popped up since I left. It’s happened everywhere I’ve lived, but after almost 10 years of my adult life here and having left less than a year ago I am a little bit surprised. I believe the brain can only retain so much information. I barely remember any street names in the town where I grew up, though I could get to my parents house with my eyes closed.
I am having a hard time coming to terms that I’ve left at all. This is where I have some of the deepest connections, yet I’ve chosen to leave. And I don’t see myself coming back here. So it feels like a home I’ll never return to. Leaving California to come here was difficult, but this feels different. I was in my early 20’s and hadn’t established myself at all. I guess you can say this is where I became what I’d call an adult. My plan was to be here for 3 months, though through a turn of events 9 years passed by. I spent some very formative and meaningful years here; some of the most rewarding and difficult years. How can that not be significant? A question that often runs through my mind is what do I hold on to and what do I let go of?
I feel so far away when I’m in Hawaii and it is indeed far away. I wish it were different, that Hawaii was within a short drive, but that is kind of ridiculous. I’m further away from DC than most of Europe and the same exact distance from California as when I lived here. I thought I was moving closer to California, but it’s the opposite spectrum of DC, reaching far into the Pacific. I do love Hawaii and it suits me well. I believe it was a good decision overall and I have no regrets. I do wish that life were somehow different and no matter where I went I could bring those I care about most with me.
I leave to Mozambique Monday and I’m sad to go. At the same time I’m relieved.