I am horrible at goodbyes.
In fact, I’ve never been good at them. Sometimes I’d rather leave without saying anything to anyone; this of course leads to friends saying “I can’t believe you left without saying goodbye!” I do feel bad when I leave in this way or when I resort to my other ‘goodbye-tendency’ – I start fights with people I’m close with before I have to leave them. This way, I feel angry and upset instead of feeling sad. I’m not going to say this technique of mine is healthy, it probably isn’t but it’s how I cope.
I suppose it all springs out of the same place that tells me to clean whenever I get upset or something happens that is out of my control. This can range from anything like rejection from a literary magazine, experiencing heartache, or losing a friend – these are all things out of my control. And when I can’t control something, I clean because it is something I do have control over. I clean. I scrub. I start with the bathroom and work my way from bedroom to, finally, the kitchen.
You’re probably wondering why I’m bringing all of this up. The reason: this past week is my last week living and working in beautiful Boulder, Colorado – a place that has changed me physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I know I’ve written about that before, but I’ve literally grown up in so many ways with this job and program I’ve been a part of and have spent the past 2 years working for. There is so much I am going to miss about this place and the people I’ve met during my time here. I’m going to miss running along the creek in the mornings. I’m going to miss the beautiful view of the Flatirons I get every morning when I walk to work. I’m going to actually miss work because it is the best job ever. Most of all, I’m going to miss the kids.
I cannot thank these students enough for all they’ve taught me. Their stories, their strength, and all they have to go through inspires me to want to be better. I don’t mind putting in 16 hour days while they’re here or only getting a few hours of sleep at night if it means spending more time with them or in my office making this program the best I can make it. I call them my CUUB babies. I’m young. I’m single and who knows when or if I’ll ever have children, but I’m thankful to know that for the past 5 summers I’ve had 87 kids who have changed me forever and if I had to pick one thing I’d miss the most – it’s them.
I have nothing but gratitude for the time I’ve spent here in Boulder. I’ve met some amazing writer friends, grew closer to other friends, got to experience working with a really great boss and mentor. I’ve trained for and ran 2 half marathons and was able to travel to Costa Rica and New Zealand. Since I’ve been living in the 303, I’ve published my first poems, won my first poetry prize and so much more. I’ve written some of my best poetry here which is to say, I think Boulder and the program I worked for – helped me find my voice. I’ve found me.
I know my last post was about this, but I do worry about what lies ahead of me. I know I need to have faith in whatever job I will find after this. But I worry. Does it mean anything that when I left Albuquerque nearly two years ago, I didn’t cry. I didn’t shed one tear and was nervous and excited about what was awaiting me.
Yesterday it hit me – I’m leaving Boulder, I’m leaving here, I’m leaving this special time in my life behind – and I cried. Hard. I’m not so sure I’m excited to be back in the 505 yet (I’m sure once I’m there and I’m surrounded once again by old friends and am making new ones that it’ll happen) but I’m definitely nervous, so maybe that’s a good thing. Last night a friend gave me advice stating that “being nervous is a good thing, it means you’re doing what you’re supposed to.” I hope he’s right.
There are many lessons I’ll take with me from my time here. Working with the kids has taught me to always live life to the fullest and make the most out of each situation you find yourself in because you can’t always change the circumstances, but you can change your attitude about it. As a writer I compare most things to poetry. In writing you don’t always find the poem, sometimes the poem finds you. So, dear Reader, whatever situation you find yourself in this week, remember: have faith that whatever you’re meant to do in this life will find you.