Adiós, Atlanta

 

“I am very fond of new beginnings. Indeed, I daresay I rather excel at new beginnings. One invariably becomes good at something when one does it often enough.”

– J. Maarten Troost in Getting Stoned with Savages

I should relate to the above quote because new beginnings come about every 2 years for me. Still, I am not the kind of person that can easily move on, so I’m now on the plane to Guatemala and I can’t stop crying. Part of me is making myself sad through my musical selections, but the sentiment was there from the moment I said farewell to Atlanta.

Maybe moving out of places is like breaking up with someone. It seems you follow the same process. It starts. It’s awkward. You’re unsure and non-committed. You compare it to the other places that you’ve lived in before. You think it isn’t as good as the last place. Then, you get to know it. You have some good times—then, great times—and you grow to love it. But, then something happens, or changes, and you have to move on. Or maybe you knew it wasn’t going to last all along. Still, it’s not easy to disconnect from all the time you put into building this life in a certain place. And unlike breakups that most often occur with one individual, breaking up with a city means parting ways with a whole group of people and activities, too. In my logical mind, it should be easy, but it isn’t. And because I’m the most emotional person I know, I get much more attached than anyone that moves as much as I do has any right to.

Last night, I sat in my Atlanta bedroom floor with piles of clothes around me having the usual packing crisis. I felt exhausted. Part of it was from too little sleep and a fun weekend, but most of it was from a deep weariness of all of this coming and going. One side of me is so excited to go back out into the world and have no strings to any place with the potential to go anywhere and do so many things. The other part of me has no desire for it. Is this what it’s like to get old—with a weird longing for continuity and community?

Whenever I talk to people about the things I have done, and will do this summer, there’s excitement, congratulations and well-wishes. But, what I’m writing about here is a side that can’t be captured in the beautiful photos of traveling and adventure—it’s the barrel of jumbled emotions that can only, partially, describe endings and goodbyes.

DCIM100GOPRO
Atlanta BeltLine, May 2016
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