After a difficult week in California, I got home last night to a huge amount of love and support. I can’t express how blessed I feel and I wish I could write more about it, do it real justice. In time, I will.
Even so, saying any kind of goodbye has always been hard for me. Even when I choose it.
Silicon Valley was good to me. No, not in the “I got rich, too” way. It was, instead, the place I grew up.
Alone, thousands of miles from friends and family, I learned to take care of myself. To find great jobs and great friends. To live in a place way bigger than the small cities I’d known: Rochester, Syracuse and Tallahassee. To thrive in my own way.
I loved the funky, off-beat nature of the Bay area, from Santa Cruz to San Francisco to my beloved Big Sur. I loved the creativity it engendered in me. I enjoyed the wide variety of people I met, friends I made. Oh, if only we could live in all the places we love. And with all the people we love.
But we can’t. Life is about choices and I’ve made the most wonderful and affirming choice I could’ve made, and one I didn’t think would ever be mine to make.
I’m happy. Make no mistake about that.
But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the ache of goodbye. The man I was supposed to marry yesterday made the week as easy as possible. Watching him walk away after dropping me at the American Airlines counter–his familiar broad back, his gait, that shock of grey hair–broke my heart.
As the plane ascended, I craned my neck and peered down at the San Jose skyline. I felt a single warm tear on my cheek. As the city disappeared beneath me I touched my forefinger to my lips, and then to the airplane window. I bid goodbye to the life I’d led and the one I thought I’d be leading.
“I wish you only good things,” I whispered. “Only good things.”
As the plane banked and headed southeast, I wiped my cheek, turned away from the window and flew toward my future.