Monday, May 19, 2014

I hate this part.

Yesterday I went to barre class with a new friend - so new she doesn't yet have a blog nickname. (And if you're in the Foreign Service, you know we don't easily or often welcome new people into our lives during the last few months at post, so this one must be worthwhile.) After class, new friend and I stopped at the house of my oldest friends to check on the progress of their pack out.

When I got out of the car and saw the giant pile of cardboard boxes piled outside of their door, I staggered back a bit and teared up. This despite the fact that I knew they were packing out. It still hit me hard, right there in the moment.

Why? Why do we allow ourselves to fall in love with these people, despite the fact that we know from the very beginning that they are going to leave us and break our hearts? We usually have a fixed date for the leave-taking, even, and yet we throw ourselves into these relationships without a thought of the end.

It wasn't all that long ago that I was saying goodbye to Jenn and Shawna and all of my other favorites in Beijing, was it? We parted ways in 2010, after three years of laughing together until we cried and crying together until we laughed. In the following four years, we've stayed in touch, of course, but seen each other almost not at all. That hurts. At post you see each other every day sometimes, but after you move to separate corners of the globe, years go by, with only emails and Facebook to show for it.

If all goes according to plan, we'll be in Moscow for the next 2 years, which means I won't be seeing these friends of mine again until at least 2016 - maybe longer if we land in places other than DC for our assignments-after-these.

This part of Foreign Service life? I hate it. Hate the boxes, hate the goodbyes, hate knowing you can never again have what you once had.

My pack out starts in 3 weeks.


Popster said... [Reply]

Pack Outs. It sounds so much like raising a family. One day the children leave the nest and you're left alone............. to wonder and worry and pray. We who are left behind think of all you fine people we know and love. We are also thankful for all your work and dedication.

Please. Write your own stuff.