When You Leave...

This past year I made a choice. I had an opportunity to leave. I figured what did I have to lose. I was in a dead end job. Most of my friends had left. My clock ticked so hard it broke. So when he asked I did give it great thought. I thought about what it would take to stand out in a new place. I thought about how my dogs would be affected. I wondered would I be able to separate myself from him - emotionally, professionally. I didn't see anything positive. In reality, I saw him leaving me. I saw him taking me somewhere unknown to ultimately leave me in this strange, new place. I saw myself failing and making the wrong choice much like I did in 2013.

Leaving was a bold step into variables I was never prepared to understand. Since then I've watched others leave and face the same consequences. I'm not talking about leaving as I did. I am talking about leaving as a whole. I am talking about rejecting ones purpose, leaving behind someones potential, being displaced due to circumstance and being incarcerated. I am talking about stepping out of ones life and routine into another. This departure can be voluntary or involuntary. It can be free or with restraint. It can be wrapped in pretty paper like a gift. It can loom over you like a curse. Then the variables come at you and you have to build yourself up to understand them. There is no why in a lesson. It just happens. Leaving can turn into discovery or escape or an uncertain place in-between. Most of the people I know are lingering in-between. I was there too and it took me the better part of a year to get out from under. 

When I left I neglected people. I purposely neglected those I thought would be most affected by me leaving. When I returned I glazed over my discoveries. I downplayed what  I'd seen, heard and realized. I did this to safeguard those I had neglected. Now I wonder would it have been better, more fair to share my experiences. Maybe had I let people know how hard returning was they wouldn't have left. I am seeing that now. Those words are extremely heavy on my heart and conscience. 

Maybe had I let people know how hard it was to return they wouldn't be so ready to leave

While I encourage those to travel and to journey when time makes a way. I also say do not interrupt potential. I say invite hope when you think there is no option. For the restlessness and anxiety to go is virtually the same if not worse when you return. It will not be wanderlust. It will be guilt. It will be the what-ifs. It will be the people looking at you upon return for answers you simply cannot give. Words will never explain why I had to go then. There aren't enough to describe what I took from all this. There aren't enough words to rebuild the bridges and mend the broken ties. The only answer I can give those asking is to go it themselves and see what it is like. I encourage you to be rich in imagination. I ask that you are strong when your potential is null. I say reverse the placement of yourself and those you are leaving. I say … of course … be careful who you leave with … or for. It has been years since my travel. There are memories, there are places but all I see is right here and all I left behind. I have memories of that. I recall those places. I'm staying because I don't want to imagine all I can actually have.

Here and now boys...