Posted by: roamingolivia | October 15, 2010

Leaving II: It always comes down to this

This is how various segments of my life always end: in a flurry of working too much (how is it possible that I am 100% guaranteed to have extra work exactly when I have too much already?), punctuated by late nights out with old or new friends, with the morning always arriving too soon. Then there are two mornings before I leave, and then the morning before I leave, and then the inevitable frantic packing the morning I go.

No matter how interminable each segment seems in the middle – no matter how much at the uncomfortable beginning I think, “If I just wait a bit, this is all going to be over and I will miss it” – I am always surprised by the end. I think Nabokov has a good quote (maybe in Invitation to a Beheading, my favorite) about life as a big book you are slowly making your way through, and then soon the pages on the right hand side are getting thin, and you’re out of time. It fits here, and is less drastic.

Each of these small endings – obliterations of a whole way of life I developed with such care (finding a morning routine, coming up with a normal bedtime, getting a route for running) – is not serious in itself. Perhaps having had so many of them is good – it means that every six months I am asking myself if I did enough and took advantage of my time enough, and other difficult questions. But having so many is also bad – I am reminded every six months that I didn’t do enough, and I could have done more, and now I will not be able to remedy it.

This is the tone of so many of my blog posts about leaving over the years, and it is not intended to sound sad. Leaving is always too busy to be sad and only becomes so later, when you’re tired or bored in the next place. In a way, I’m lucky to have London as an exception – I leave repeatedly for short periods, where I have this whole experience again, and then getting to come back and get a re-do on London.  It’s a bit Groundhog Day, but it’s also a luxury to have a second (or third? or fourth?) round in a place, with the added benefit of already having friends.


  1. So so so true!

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