I have a weird confession: I get my hair cut far (and I do mean far) less frequently than I believe is recommended by hair stylists and most sane people alike. Perhaps this dates back to the time I had my bangs cut in three uneven, too-short chunks, prompting me to dye my hair bright red and pretend it was edgy and intentional (I fooled no one). Or maybe the time I worked at a salon, an experience I ended with tri-color chin-length hair that wouldn't have even looked good on a fashion model. Perhaps it's rooted in a deference to other spending priorities (see: whiskey, fresh produce, plane tickets). Or maybe it is simply a reflection of a more metaphor-friendly hesitance to embrace change.
I officially leave Boston one week from today. And, although my hair still looks terrible, my life in Boston that led me in pursuit of new adventures looks more and more wonderful every day.
It's not that I'm second-guessing my decision to go, I think I'm just appreciating the beauty of this life with an abandon I really only allowed myself once I made the decision to leave it. I have found so much to love here. I have a routine I enjoy, a job I've learned how to do well, friends I love, a house that feels right to come back to after any time spent away. I've found lovely spots to hike, a running route I begrudgingly enjoy (or at least know), I am learning to cook and I pack my lunch each night and make coffee every morning. I'm surrounded by music and musicians who, despite their incredible talent, tolerate my plunking attempts at playing basic chords. I can finally drive around without blind deference to my GPS. I have made, of Boston, a home.
But I'm not leaving because I wasn't happy here. I'm leaving because I want to make myself completely available to learn more about others, communicate more with myself, and eek out my place in this big world, And, of course, enjoy some adventures along the way. This is about shaking up the routines I've come to love and making myself open to be grabbed by passion as I figure out what comes next.
Back to my coiffure confession: I am reminded that, whatever the cause of my initial hesitation to schedule that stupid appointment, more difficult still are the days that lead up to it. I manage to have myself convinced, as the big moment rapidly approaches, that my hair looks better and better every day. Only through taking the necessary step to eradicate them am I able to overlook those things I sought to change. From dead ends and lifeless shape to the realization that my job was no longer serving to enable my growth and I lacked a sense of what direction to pursue next, I choose change for a reason. But knowing I need a change should neither undermine nor glorify what I've had. Instead, I take the next step, emboldened and strengthened by all I have learned and all that I love that has served not only to grow me but also to prepare me for wherever my path next leads.
So I'm leaving yet another home, and one that I love dearly, but I'm not closing the door behind me. I don't know where I will end up in just a few short months (which may render my departure more of a sojourn), or with what goals, priorities and dreams. But today, with one week left to my first flight and my bright, beautiful room dismantled into messy piles and suitcases, I'm taking a moment to simply revel in the beauty of this life and the people in it who have filled my days with love, laughter, whiskey and music, who have made me strong enough to know I need to go and also made me sad to say goodbye.