Leaving is a funny thing. It makes you feel so sentimental over everything you're leaving behind, and imbues every "last" with an unattainable weight of significance. It makes you appreciate your friends and family so much more every time you get to see them - potentially for the last time in a long while - and makes you see them much more than you usually do, which is like relational window shopping, or having all the best food in the world dished up but not being allowed to eat it. Which is to say: it's like a form of wonderful, self-imposed torture; constantly keeping you face to face with everything you're going to have to leave behind.
All these lasts have been exhausting, but beautiful, and sad. I always feel grateful knowing that I have so much to leave behind that I can't bear to let go of, but so much that I'm heading to that I can't bear to miss out on. At least these days goodbyes are mostly just corporeal, because it's so easy to stay connected in cyberspace.
This year will be entirely different from everything I've known before, which is quite a privilege at 29. And I don't even have kids yet (which by all accounts will change everything completely, forever, again). It certainly won't be boring (or if it is boring, it will be boring in New York, which is a whole other thing). For now, I must just try to remember, as best I can, to be excited. This is an amazing adventure. Everything else will sort itself out.
Here are some mementos from our many, lovely South African lasts:
|Last lunch with Eunice|
|Last night in our squash court|
|Last sunset in Cape Town|
|Last glass of wine with Eric & Jan|
|Birthday celebrations / farewell lamentations with all the best people|
|Last day paying for petrol|
|Last day at the office: Friedl|
|Last wulf lunch|
|Last day at the office: Mareesa|
|Last potjie on the plot|
|Last coffees with LOTN family|
|Last randomness with these kids|
|Last photo shoot with these kids|
|Last lunch with parents|
|Last few hours in South Africa|