I’m sitting in an airport terminal now. This trip to Seattle and Portland was planned well before my husband accepted a job in Arkansas, before we sold our home of seven years, before we boxed up everything we own.
I’m excited about this trip. Really, I am. Excited to visit my brothers and sisters-in-law. Excited to attend the fabulous Wild + Free Conference in Portland. Excited to relax in a beautiful setting.
So what is this tugging in my gut? Why am I so hesitant to leave? I will miss my girls, but that’s not the emotion I’m feeling right now. They are safe with their grandparents.
Oh wait, I know this feeling. That’s it. I’m sad. Just plain old sad. Nothing fancy about it.
For months, this trip marked the end of our life in Texas. Now it is real.
We are moving.
The truth is, I’m actually looking forward to the adventure that awaits us in Arkansas—to building a new life, to making new friends, to exploring the “natural state.”
But I guess goodbyes are hard for me.
Ellie seems to have inherited my propensity for sentimental attachments, which is why I thought it might be helpful to make an event of our farewell. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve likely noticed the hashtag I’ve been using all month: #projectgoodbye.
That’s right, we made a “project” of our goodbye. The goal was to allow for a ceremonial farewell—one full of photo taking + memory making—to all the special places, activities, and people in our home city. We will ultimately turn these Instagram captures into a what Ellie calls a “memory book.”
But right now, as I sit in my sadness, I realize something. Like so many other activities I do with my children, I start off thinking I’m doing some great thing for them, only to discover about half-way through that I’m doing it just as much (if not more) for myself. This little project was certainly special for Ellie and likely created sweet memories.
But I needed it.
I’m sitting in the airplane now. Soft cirrus feathers gently brush the marbly veined land below. Distracted, I hardly notice a voice make the announcement.
We are leaving Texas.
It’s alright. I’m ready to go. I’ve said my goodbyes.