I'm sitting in a Kentucky hotel room trying to come to terms with my new reality. I've been prepping to take this step for the last couple of months and now that I'm on my way I'm not quite sure what to do. I've been so busy and over scheduled (which was on purpose) that I haven't had more than a few minutes of quiet and alone time since the beginning of June. Every moment has been jam packed with road trips and dinners and parties and to do list items and it's been wonderful. This past weekend I finished up with a nighttime walk around the monuments, dinner on the Potomac River, the Frank Turner concert, breakfast at Eastern Market, a soggy viewing of Singing in the Rain at Wolf Trap and at least a million and a half hugs, tears and goodbyes.
I've decided a person should be required a daily diet of no less than a dozen hugs every day. We don't hug enough in our culture and I think we need to remedy that, stat. If I were on top of things I'd find you quotes and studies that prove that touch and hugging is good for boosting endorphins and releasing stress and lowering cholesterol and burning calories and bringing about world peace. But I'll let my non-scientific ramblings suffice. Hugs are great and we need more of them. 'Nuff said.
I was humbled by all the kind words and outpourings of love and appreciation among the people I worked with and my friends and others I've had a chance to interact with throughout my time in DC. Amazingly enough I was able to hold my emotions mostly in check as I closed the book on this chapter of my life. I was afraid I'd lose it as I drove away but I think the view of the Shenandoahs out my car window helped calm my soul.
I was treated to mountain vistas, fields of wildflowers (and by fields I mean swaths of median on the highway), some delicious blueberry lavender ice cream at this strategic pit stop, and a fiery sunset. I took them as heavenly signs that I am on the right path and I'm trying to convince myself that it's all still true as I find myself alone with my thoughts and trying not to burst into hysterical tears.
Change is always hard and I have several stages of grand change to go through in the next year. The hole in my heart will be filled with new people and memories. The tears will dry. New doors will open and all kinds of exciting things will happen. But for the next week I'll be on the road visiting old friends and being introduced to their current lives and adventures. I'll check back in when I make it to the parentals!