Monday, July 31, 2006

Last Night in North Carolina

What is it about the end that makes you think about the beginning?

I saw my favorite Wal-Mart greeter in the low-cost Asian import super center tonight. I didn't mention to him that I am moving. We've never said much more to each other than good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night but I am going to miss him. He has the most sincere smile.

I'm glad there are no Wal-Marts in New York City, but apparently there is one coming right behind me in 2008. By then, I'll have been a New Yorker (or an aspiring New Yorker / New Yorker in training) for almost two years.

I wish I had more time to relax, reminisce and soak up some memories. After living in Cullowhee all these years, memories come to life in front me all the time. You always retain more memories than those who move away because you are often confronted by old ghosts - good and bad. I learned that as a military brat and I relived it when I became employed by my university and many of my college friends returned to their hometowns after graduation or found jobs in new places. I'd really just like to take one final walk through my college and post-college stomping grounds and just take some moments to remember. No time. I guess I'll have to come back for a Homecoming one year.

I have been planning for this for over a year. Working 60-80 hours a week. Purging my apartment slowly and carefully - throwing, selling or giving away. Tying up lose ends at work. Finishing up projects. Yet I'm still pressed for time as I come down to the wire. I guess we always end up jumping into things even if we stick our toes in first. Even me, the consummate planner, cannot think of everything.

One thing I have been thinking about lately is on how much time I've missed out with my family and friends throughout the past year while working 2-3 jobs. My parents live an hour away in Asheville, yet I've only visited them a handful of times. I've spent time with my closest friends, right down the street, much less than I'm willing to admit. I turned down so many invitations from coworkers for evening drinks. I sacraficed so much to be able to finance this move. In fact, I began to notice that my friends stopped inviting me places because I was always declining. I really missed out on good times with them and I'm beginning to feel the regret. Even now, I just want to hang out with them and just look at them, talk and laugh, but I have to be out of my apartment by tomorrow evening and Terrence and I are driving overnight to New York City. I guess you can say that "it's the magic of risking everything for a dream that no one sees but you ... (Who was it who said that?)" But at what price? I suppose it doesn't matter now because I've already paid it.

This evening, Terrence and I drove to Asheville to pick up our rental, a delightful little Stow-and-Go Dodge Caravan. We'll be stylin' and profilin' all the way up the East Coast with the best of the soccer moms! We pulled out of the apartment complex in my beloved Honda that I am going to miss so much, windows down, sunrays beaming through the moon roof. I looked over at him and said, "I can finally say that this whole year was worth it!"

I knew I would be able to say it eventually; it was just beginning to feel like the day would never come. That day was today.

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