So you decide to pack up and leave. Out of the state, out of the timezone. Partially, you are chasing the hope of love. Partially, you are chasing the hope of life. You’ve spent too much time hiding in bed and crying and living a routine. You are stifled, and you’ve never done anything this risky in your life. Whereas most people do that whole uproot-your-life-and-try-something-new thing right after high school or right after college, you do it once you are in your 30s. You always were a late bloomer.
So you sort through your belongings, and cram what you can fit into your car. You drive and you drive, switching driving shifts with your hope of love. 42 hours later, you arrive. Sun and palm trees and the unknown.
So you get settled in. You look for a job; you find a job. You go to shows in hip-trendy bars that you never thought you’d see yourself in. You watch plays written by people you now call your friends. You MAKE friends. You work, you play. All the while realizing that it is NEVER a good time to give a quick call to those you left on the other coast. You can’t afford the cost of a plane ticket for as many times as you’d like to go back to visit. Friends get married, have children, and more children. Everyone works roughly 9-to-5. But 9-to-5 on the West Coast equals 12-to-8 on the East Coast. Dinners need to be made, kids need help with homework, or need to be given a bath, and put to bed. We’re long past the days of post-10pm phone calls being acceptable.
So, weeks pass, months pass, YEARS pass. You try and ignore the disconnect, but it lurks in the back of your mind. Always. Pictures are posted online of parties, dinners, brunches, baby showers…and you realize how much you’ve missed. Are missing.
So your heart breaks all over again. As it has many times since you fled for the opposite side of the country.
So, you carry on. You don’t regret the decision you’ve made. You have survived, and in some ways, thrived. You still have love, you still have friends. You still have a job. You did what no one ever expected you to do. You’re happy.
So much time…maybe too much time…has passed. You may never be able to reconnect with the people you love so much. The ones you thought would be in your life forever. The ones you want in your life forever. But you just don’t know how.
It’s your fault, though. No one held a gun to your head and said, “You must go.”
So you try to make peace with it.
To everyone I’ve lost touch with along the way – I love you. I miss you. More than you’ll ever know, more than I can ever express. I’m sorry.