I went to a friend’s departmental goodbye party this afternoon. She was one of the first people I met when I moved to Philly, and now, after four years, she’s leaving for better things and exciting opportunities. This was the first of what I assume will be many send off events I’ll attend for her over the next couple of months.
As I walked into the party, she was surrounded by her (almost entirely female) students. They took turns engaging her in conversation, the rest hanging on to her every word, waiting their turn to address her. It was obvious how much they liked and respected her. There was even a little awe/hero worship going on. I got a kick out of watching her inhabit this role that was mostly foreign to me. It was interesting to see the people who made up the other half of her life. She spotted me and eventually made her way over to say hi, but was quickly caught up in conversation with her admirers. It was fine, as I know it was not my last opportunity to say goodbye.
I have another dear friend who’s moving at the end of May, to go back to her home state of Texas. She told her boss today that she’s leaving, which adds an additional layer of reality to my understanding of her departure. We’ve carefully orchestrated the weekends between now and then to include as many Philly activities as we can. This Saturday is thrift stores and the Italian Market, followed by an evening of cooking at my apartment. There’s also a trip to the Dansko outlet, a visit to the zoo, a weekend in New York and a day of Philly tourist stuff on the agenda in the coming weeks. All fun, but not without an element of the bittersweet.
I am sad to see these two women go, they’ve both played vital roles in my life over the last four years. But I’m also deeply okay with it, as I know absolutely that they are making moves that are good and right for them. I even feel little bursts of excitement, knowing that their lives are about to change in both dramatic and minute ways.
I think in some ways, I’m also just a little bit envious, as they are taking steps to walking through freshly opened doors, while all I can see for myself right now is that first crack of light. Well, you’ve always got to start somewhere.
Got here by way of your sister’s site…New Starts are good and healthy…I am trying to convince my nephew to follow his dream to Philadelphia as well…He is a fine young musician who wants to go to school there….I am going to point him to your musing as they are kindred and like minded.
The biggest thing in your favor is that you know you will have the courage to take the next step – once you know what it is – look at what it took for you to relocate here.
The right fresh start will appear in its time, not yours (unfortunately), but as someone whose been thru a few, how well it will fit will make it worth the wait
Luckily in the world we live in now, it is alot easier to keep in touch with friends, even when they move across the world. Thats a good thing I think -smiles being positive-
Take a look back 4 years ago when you were leaving Oregon for Philly, and that was you onto your next adventure in life. What an exciting time it is for your friends right now!
Hey Marisa–Thanks so much for coming to the party. Can’t wait to celebrate YOU next Friday.