Today it really struck me how close Peru is looming. Not in space, but in time. I know that the next nine days will pass very quickly. I don’t know if and when I will return to Austin, so I feel a particularly strong prickling of tears in my eyes over the course of any given day, knowing that the places and people I’m saying goodbye to may be more than just one year and several thousand miles away. The thing about life, though, is that you have to live your own. I’m lucky to be surrounded by people that understand that. There are many people that will miss me, and I’ll miss them. I’m sure there are some that don’t want me to go, but this is me living my path and being true to myself, and that’s something we’re all allowed and entitled to do. I hope that, as a teacher, I can inspire and encourage my future students in their dreams and endeavors in the same way that my beloved people have encouraged me.
Today at work, some co-workers did an “interpretive dance” in my final company meeting. This was absolutely a silly, fun thing that they did for my benefit, acting on an inside joke that pre-dates both of them at this company, but which everyone enjoys. We were all laughing and enjoying their dance, complete with rainbow ribbons and music. But I was also moved by the display. They planned it for me! And I realized once again the people I leave behind are each a priceless treasure.
The song they chose for the dance was “Time To Move On” by Tom Petty. One of the dancing pair, Cheryl, shared the lyrics with me after the meeting was over, and I think they are fitting. She also gave me a little French press to bring with me, so I can enjoy my coffee. It’s already wrapped tightly in bubble wrap and paper, and will be making the journey with me.
Throughout this process I have been consumed by the desire to just go. Get out of here. Start my new life. But I am grateful for the last several weeks, during which I’ve had the opportunity to prepare for my physical needs, and to truly take time and appreciate all of the things I have right here at home. From the family who cries with mingled joy and sadness as I pursue my dreams, to the co-workers who decorate my cube for my birthday and give me a proper rainbow-y send-off, to all in Texas and beyond who have been with me through my ups and downs, the people in my life make my life what it is, and I am truly grateful for all of you.