How Do You Say Goodbye to a City?

I’m counting down the days until I leave this city: 20. No one told me that college would be the easy bit. Life since May 29th’s Commencement Ceremony has been evolving at breakneck pace. New routines, all of them temporary. I have to check myself from missing the person that I was, have to remind myself that growing is pain and confusion. It takes courage to leave relationships and places and things that no longer fit. Learning to welcome uncertainty is always a challenge.

Since May I moved out of a vibrant community of 32 undergrads who lived and cooked and cleaned together into a sterile single off of a hallway. My relationship with my significant other of a year fell apart. We grew apart. I helped raise a garden that keeps coughing out copious amounts of zucchini. I joined the November Project. I biked to the farthest corners of a city. I wrote postcards in all-caps to states I have never visited. I made sun tea in my orange Nalgene. I taught some thirty kids how to row. I got a cartilage piercing. All this while piecing flights together and calling up friends of friends who have visited Fiji, the place I will fly come October.

Now that I am into my last days in Boston I want to ask: how do you say goodbye? Most of what I love about the city has taken a different shape: the friends I once lived with have apartments and jobs elsewhere, the person I loved and I no longer speak, the community of rowers and co-opers and Folklore & Mythology concentrators I drew strength and inspiration from will, in all likelihood, never again be in the same place. There’s not a course catalog for this next step. I won’t be shopping classes. The Boston skyline at night is still arresting. How do you say goodbye?

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3 thoughts on “How Do You Say Goodbye to a City?

  1. I was sent a link to your blog by a good friend who was up late last night, listening to BBC World Service. She sent it me because I am about to embark on a bicycle trip to Australia from here in the UK (and hopefully back again). I am at a similar point in my preparations – counting down to departure. I guess I’m going to try not to say goodbye to my home, but au revoir – until the next time. But you’re right – time moves on regardless, nothing stays the same. People and things will change, grow, move on. Looking forward to reading more of your journey.

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