I keep waiting to really freak out. Waiting for the moment when I lose it.
As I was falling asleep the other night my mind started to wander and I started planning what time I needed to wake up for work, and wondering if I had kept anything that would be appropriate to wear to the office.
And then a chilling thought washed over me: I don’t work there anymore. I don’t work anywhere.
For a moment it felt like the whole world opened up and I was just this tiny little thing in the middle of it, floating there on my own with no work schedule or obligations to keep me rooted in place.
Now that I have worked my final shift in the BBC’s Washington office and can dedicate all of my time to checking the millions of things off of my list, the gripping, nauseating pressure in my chest has subsided (My kind mom flying out from the West coast to help me may have had something to do with my anxiety levels dropping to a bearable point).
I am feeling eerily calm now, and I am hoping that doesn’t mean there is a storm brewing.
I find myself feeling nostalgic. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have never been a huge fan of Washington, DC. It is a nice place to live, don’t get me wrong, but I never felt like this was my city.
That being said, I keep catching myself taking long detours around Dupont Circle and Georgetown, trying to soak it in one last time.
I know I can come back here and I’m sure I will, but I realize that I will never be here in this context again. I won’t be walking the same familiar route that I have been taking to work every day, I won’t be frequenting the little coffee shop on 22nd and L that makes amazing Americanos or spending an afternoon picnicking in Meridian Hill park. And I won’t be seeing all of my dear friends and colleagues who are the ones that have kept me here all these years.
So as much as I bemoan this sometimes stuffy and staid city, I do feel some small pangs of sadness leaving it. It has been my home after all, and that’s a difficult thing to let go of.
My once colorful, warm, apartment is now empty, and I have fit in as many lunches, and coffees, and drinks and dinners with friends as humanly possible in the last few days.
My bed was the last thing to go and this morning, I folded up the futon I slept on last night, packed it into my one remaining box to ship off to my parent’s basement and that’s it.
My life in Washington is finally folded up and packed away, and when I arrive in Nice it will be the start of something new.