In my mind, a stream of tasks overtakes every other thought, drowning out everything else. The handwritten calendar taped askew to the wall displays too few check marks for my liking. Our house looks identical to months before. Josh and I appear the same, our dog sticks to his regular napping schedule. On the surface, we are mentally still here in Germany. But, slightly underneath, a tension has been building, due to the looming tasks left undone.
In the past, I’ve written about leaving, about saying goodbye to what you once knew, about the fear of forgetting. Now we’re thrown in the boiling stew once again, our essence of life here about to be lifted and dropped in a new country, a new home.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I love the melancholy, sweet feeling of leaving. I love the sincerity of long-term goodbyes, the donation bags dropped at the thrift store. I love packing my possessions and seeing how little space it all takes up. I love scrubbing the past clean, leaving a space of the next person to make a home.
Goodbyes carry nostalgia, a hope for the future, and the crushing feeling of the unknown. Will I ever walk these paths on base again? Have taco nights, pick blueberries, or watch reality TV with these dear friends? Will we ever feel the way we do in this moment?
When we make it through the fog and mist of these coming months, I hope we have the capacity to take a moment, breathe, and remember. Our first home together, and how we lived within its walls.
The mismatched art lining the wall, our kitchen missing a handful of essential tools, our dog’s twitching paws during a nap on the couch. I’ll miss opening our bedroom windows wide and watching the storms roll in. The hours that slipped by while friends lounged on our giant couch, or drank wine and made crab rangoons. I’ll remember these snippets, along with hundreds of others, as this reality morphs into our past, our foundation. I can only hope my memory does it justice.
Now, as we prepare for our new beginning, leaving with four more legs than we arrived with, I feel a rumble of anticipation for the uncertainty of what comes next.
Because as much as I love goodbyes, I love hellos even more.