That is my favorite quotation, from the British playwright Tom Stoppard. It’s my signature line on my email. It’s a good thing to remember as I get ready to move.
People here in Delaware seem to want me to be sad that I’m leaving, and I’m playing the delicate balancing act of not being TOO gleeful to be leaving. I know there are things I’ll miss – I’ve started compiling a list of places to visit one last time before the end of April. But what about these moments:
“Is it kind of bitter-sweet?” asked while the person was nodding.
“Nope! It’s totally sweet!” I did not say.
“Are you nervous?” …okay, well that one, yes in that I will be going from a full-time job with benefits (and a part-time one without) to NO job and NO benefits for a time. So, yes, a bit nervous job-wise.
What can I say to people who so very, very sweetly say, “I’m sorry to see you leave” or words to that effect?
“I’m shaking the dust off my feet as I head out”?
“I’ll be sure not to let the door hit me in the a$$”?
or just a simple “I’m not!”
I said initially here (near the end) that I can’t lie. It makes moments like this torture. Fortunately, I have a gift for avoiding inconvenient subjects.
Even when I get around to sharing this news with Aphrodite (who is out of town until Saturday night, and who I won’t see until Sunday evening), I can’t say “I’ll miss you” because I don’t know that I will. I know we’ll still be in touch. I’m confident that she can visit me at some point, and I already know I’ll be back here at the very least next winter for my tenth Polar Bear Plunge.
I don’t miss people. I just don’t. Goodbye is a part of life. I learned long ago that for every “good-bye” there’s an exciting “hello” coming up down the road. You can quote me. How do you express that without hurting feelings? You don’t. You let people grieve or more likely, just listen to them politely say whatever trite phrase you’ve heard a million times, and fill in whatever blanks they might have like “why” or “what will you do” or “do you plan to be here for Thanksgiving”.
To get a sense of my view, allow me to quote from a GREAT good-bye song from the musical "Hello Dolly!" (Bear with me, these are seriously awesome lyrics. I sing it around the house a lot.)
Wave your little hand and whisper “so long, dearie”
You ain’t gonna see me any more!
But when you discover that your life is dreary,
Don’t you come a-knockin’ at my door!
For I’ll be all dolled-up and singin’ that song
That says, “you dog! I told you so-o!”
So wave your little hand and whisper “so long, dearie”,
Dearie should’ve said “so long” so long ago.
(SO TRUE! I’ve been wanting to say “so long” for years.)
Oh, it gets better, ending with:
Oh I can hear that choo-choo calling me on, on to a fancy new address!
Yes I can hear that choo-choo calling me on, on board that happiness express!
I’m gonna drink and dance and learn to smoke a cigarette!
I’ll be as far away from [fill in 2 syllable location/person] as a girl – can – get!
No, I don’t hate Delaware. It's actually pretty fun to say I'm from Delaware. I do hate that the cost of living does not match my income. I do hate being in a dead-end job, but that could happen anywhere. And I don’t like that my current coworkers can’t remove themselves from work without complaining about it. (Geez. Last night’s “girls’ night out” was a mistake...and not for fun reasons!)
Yes, I’m optimistic about this move and about the future in general. This has been a long time coming. Are there things I’ll miss? Yes, but I know they will be replaced. “Every exit is an entry someplace else.” - remember? Exit Delaware, enter Indiana. Exit current job, enter some new adventure. Exit cute cottage by the shore, enter a lower-priced apartment! ...Well, eventually. For the moment, enter “my private retreat in the woods” aka Mom & Dad’s house.
What else? Some of you live out that direction: What else should I add to my anticipation-list?