I sat across from my ex, my nose stuffed up and my head fuzzy from my cold. We were at the Lighthouse, a Korean tofu hot pot specialist in suburban Washington. It's one of my favorite meals during winter and I probably won't find it once I get to Buenos Aires. In a way, this is a farewell to an aspect of my life in DC.
I have been a bit flighty lately. As my shove off date to Argentina approaches, I am realizing all the tasks I need to accomplish prior to leaving. There are academic commitments to fulfill and office work to to finalize. There is the boxing up of my apartment and the packing and repacking of my two rucksacks. The list is endless and unforgiving. But I'll get them done.
But the real weight on my chest is the idea of moving on. Although I made that choice quite some time ago, the idea that I will soon step off the edge is truly giving me the butterflies. I've been on many solo trips before, from the sands of Arabia to almost the bottom of the Earth. But for the first time I am off on a journey not knowing if I will return. I feel like I am charting a course without a map.
Ever since I was a wee boy I've been told to follow a professional path - be a lawyer, a banker, etc. I read my parents' disappointment as I detoured time and again and eventually ended up working on Capitol Hill. But at least that was a professional field right? I was working and breathing the same air with decision makers who can change the world. But was I?
Friends came and went and I am still standing on the same spot. It's time to go.
As I personally said goodbye to friends, I am realizing that I'll be alone pretty soon, with nothing to bank on except my wits and my savings account. I know I've plans for graduate school in Europe, but I also need to have my head right before I get there.
Perhaps this was how my parents felt years ago when they forfeited the comfort of their homeland for the unknown promises of California.