09 March, 2012

“Every Exit is an Entry Someplace Else”

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?


  1. Ok, sorry! Lol that was just so obvious that I had to do it! This is a great post and I wish I had the ability not to be sad when I say good bye to people. But I don't. At all. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing and I'm just all around way too emotional.

    And, by the way, I've answered your questions on my blog.

    1. You're right, that's one thing my blog-buddies know about!

      I'll tell you how to not get emotional about good-byes: Go back in time and start attending in international boarding school at a tender age. I think "international" is important because the world of military/diplomat/missionary kids is very, very transient and you adapt into goodbyes.

      ...and now I'm going to go read your answers!

    2. Thanks for the tip - I'll put it on my "things to do" list ;-)

      But you know, if I could go back in time and try your technique, I wonder if it would work for me. I've inherited this emotional circus from my mom's side of the family. All the ladies in the family cry big time. If you're happy, you cry - if you're sad, you cry - if you're nervous, you cry - and so on and so forth. So... I think I would need to go through some sort of dehydration process before any type of school could have an effect on me!

  2. Okay, somewhere along the line I missed the post about why you're moving to Indiana :(

    I think everyone should pick up and move away from their home and comfort zone at least a couple times in life. It's good to experience new things and places, to shake things up. Besides, you can always go back, right?

    1. It started in February with my "Asking the Cosmos" post, and then early this month I gave my first "Moving 101".

      My best move was my spontaneous move from Chicago to central PA. But personally, I don't see wanting to go back. To me moving back to someplace I've already left is like going back to a relationship after a break-up. It didn't work for a reason, why assume it will now?

    2. Oh! And I casually snuck the news into "The Secrets Out And the Plot Thickens" - which you'll enjoy if you're a fan of the "Red&Brett" theme.

    3. Ah-ha. Okay, this was during my wonky eye days....just read it and now I'm caught up.

      And your mom handled that conversation well. Mine would've freaked!

    4. (she's probably still freaking out a little bit, just knows better than to show it.)

  3. I have moved a lot. Okay, I say a lot, but I am only 23 so a lot to me is 3 times. I grew up in upstate NY, lived in El Paso Texas while I was in the Army, and now I am in New Orleans and have been here for 4.5 years. All three places are so incredibly different. But I have always been that way... "Yeah, I GUESS I'll miss it, but my excitement is totally taking over whatever sadness may be there. Which probably isn't much. If any at all."

    Alright, leaving NY was probably the saddest because that is where I grew up, but I was stoked to leave. Leaving El Paso was basically easier than leaving my office parking lot. I bet though, if I ever leave New Orleans, it will honestly and truly be bittersweet for me. Other than the Saints, I've come to love this place.

    1. (I started counting my moves, but it sounded like I'm competing. I'm not. I'm just older.) :)

      I think looking forward is the only way to go, or you could get mired in "what was". At the same time, if you are happy, stay!

  4. I am one of those people who believes sadness is so much more awesome with a bit of nervous excitement! What's that old Steel Magnolia's quote? "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!" I have never moved far from home, made it about 75 miles, but I have helped my friends move and I love doing it. I often help them drive the Uhaul, get all moved in and then take a bus home. It is so wonderful to see their new places, to get to feel that excitement with them! I recommend helping a friend move far away at least once in your life. It helps you to see that entry to someplace else for yourself and completely forget about the exit part. Congratulations, Red!

    1. Wow! Wish you could help me!

      I got an early start at separation when I was in a school 7,500 miles from home. So I guess I never worry about actually losing the people who are near and dear to me.

      entry/exit are all the same.

    2. I think this way of thinking is quite lovely!

  5. That's a unique perspective, because most people out there actually fear change, while you seem to accpet and embrace it. I am a fear of change person. I have always stuck relatively close to home (farthest was college an hour and a half away). I have rejected possibilities in the past to move to NY (too scary), NJ (yuck) and CA (would love to, but too far from family and EVERYTHING I know and love). I envy your joie de vivre about relocating. Really.

    1. Thank you! Me and change?
      ~Big changes - piece of cake. I embrace you.
      ~Small changes - my head explodes. Don't you mess with my desk, because if I can't find the exact pen that I need, I will hurt you. Don't try to change my schedule by 15 minutes or it will throw me into a tailspin.

      I was very proud of myself, when I was on a two-week road-trip and *allowed myself* to change my plans by one day partway through!

  6. Your outlook is great. I pack up and leave town and have no problems with it. My daughter has attended 3 private schools, 5 public schools and been home schooled. She loves moving to a new place, going to a new school and church, and making new friends.

    While her friends are crying that they will miss her, she knows any of them can stay in touch that want to and she is getting ready to meet a bunch of new people. She loves that she has friends from all over and says she wouldn't change it for anything. She is already asking to move again. She doesn't yet get the whole job thing.

    People come and go out of our lives all the time. It's never been a problem for me.

    1. I'm glad to hear it, especially as you are one of my new "hello"s to look forward to. (I know you caught Bozo's comment. Teehee)

    2. Oh I did. I have come to expect nothing less.

    3. Ahhh.... what a happy glow for me to start the day with. Now I know the day will be good lol

  7. This is good. I like this.
    'I don’t miss people. I just don’t. Goodbye is a part of life.'

    I don't have anything like the background you alude to in your above comment replies - but I am with you - and not in a grumpy way.

    This is a positive thing.

    1. Wow! A positive, not a love to hate or hate to love. Probably because it's not a positive to most people. Goodbyes = tears to many. People. I'm actually very curious if I'll find any tears over this one.

  8. I've never moved outside of the local area I am so I have no idea about it. I imagine it to be scary, but you seem to have a good hold on it. My wife and I went to school together (didn't know each other), met again on facebook, and she picked up and moved (to Indiana) to be with me after 20 years in Virginia. It didn't seem to bother her much either.

    You, like her, amaze me at how easy it is for you. I would be excited for a new start but it would scare the crap out of me to start all over.

    1. It is a bit nerve-wracking, especially regarding the whold job situation. The nice thing about my situation is that I only have to worry about the leaving part. After I arrive at Mom & Dad's I can start to worry about the job and apartment thing.

  9. I think this is great and absolutely true. People come and go in our lives, especially in terms of jobs. I didn't miss my job when I left, and I don't miss my coworkers, and we all got along great. That's just life. I'd say you have an extremely healthy attitude about it.

    1. Thank you! I've noticed that whenever I start out in a new place, I eventually find people to fill the spots left behind. You know, the sympathetic ear, the drinking buddy, the up-for-a-daytrip, the rollercoaster rider...


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.