This could very well be my last train ride from work back home – in downtown Salt Lake City. Perhaps I should be less concerned with whether or not this web page will load and such slow internet or squeezing in another work to-do and instead, focus on just how green and rocky the Wasatch Front looks today against a clear blue sky. I’m in such a hurry to be home in time for one last this or one last that. It is hard not to be a little aggravated with any train delays or the fact that we have a driver in training that creeps along at seemingly half the speeds of any other train operator. It’s time to just take a breath. To take it all in. To forget, mostly but not entirely, that I haven’t packed the “move immediately” box for Australia. It is time to stop running the rat race of goodbyes and realize – I gave everyone a chance. I gave my six weeks notice. I put in more effort towards goodbyes than I even had the capacity for, leaving these final moments more stressful and less complete than I wanted them to be. In this moment it is me, the train, the mountains, and the sky. It is my goodbye to now.
Come Sunday, we won’t be here. We have a two week working vacation from Hawaii that we planned long ago. Although it puts even more pressure on our current life changes, if we didn’t have this trip we would just be moving two weeks earlier. So this is it, either way. No regrets.
Sure, we will be back. Sure, we will meet again. No one is dying. No one is going anywhere free of the ability to communicate. It just is, like I’ve said before, final in its own regard. I will never be able to come back to this moment – to a day when 90 degree weather is normal and the train only has five cars during commuting hours. I won’t be able to come back to the same friends at least in the state they are in now. Some will have more kids. Some will get divorced. Some will stay so much the same that any effort outside of themselves will simply be too much, and we will, quite frankly, never see them again. I don’t even know who they are. I have no one in mind when I say these things. If there’s anything I’ve learned from moving so many times before, it is that nothing is predictable in who will remain a part of your life.
We all move through chapters, however short or long. We’ve all had great loves we thought would be in our lives much longer than they actually were. Many of us have experienced the shock of surprising loss. People move on in ways where we can only promise, we have no control over.
I’m sure some people thought I’d always be around despite what I said when rattling off generic five year plans. I’m sure others who have known me much longer have already laughed out loud and insisted, “She’ll be back.”
Even I can’t predict the future, whatever my intentions may be. Maybe I’ll be the one to have kids. Maybe I’m the one who will end up divorced. Maybe I’m the one that will enjoy so much of being the same that I will no longer vow to come back.
Like anyone else, I can insist, “I’m not that way…” or, “That will never be me…” I can promise to keep in touch forever or to remember to email every time we are back in town.
Like my sister always says, “The phone works both ways!” Even I can admit with my own family, friends aside, that something as minor as a move has resulted in many years of reduced communication – birthday emails and Christmas Day phone calls. For so much of my life my own brother has been my very best friend, and not many people could imagine that we’ve actually gone nearly 7 years with such reduced communication. He had a life. I had a life. We weren’t so different, and yet nothing about our lives was the same.
These things happen.
But, I can honestly say I am excited for the adventure. Even more honestly, I can admit that no matter the chance and no matter how surprising, everything about life becomes more positive each time you dare to make a move.
Backdated post, Written August 15, 2014 on the train ride home