Monday, March 28, 2011

Final Week

Once again, it's been forever since I've written in this blog. My Little Hater is bloated and confident. But he won't win today.

One week left...we are now officially entering the twilight zone. The last couple days, things have gotten a lot more real for me. Most of the last month, I've been concerned with doing the things I have had to do while still here. I finally got a packing list from the Peace Corps, so I was out shopping. I got some new clothes. I got a new pair of glasses and my first ever pair of prescription sunglasses. I got a new computer [beautiful MacBook Pro/new love of my life]. I got some new shoes. I shop so infrequently; it's a strange rush to get a bunch of material things all at once. I can't really remember the last time I spent my own money for clothing. I mean, I've still got shirts in my rotation from high school, though they are -thankfully- almost completely phased out at this point.

On March 9th, Craig and I started the End Of All Things 2.0/Peace Corps Farewell Road Trip (retroactively designated as such) up the east coast. First, I took the bus from Boca to Gainesville. We drove from Gainesville to Savannah to Atlanta to Washington to New Brunswick (NJ), and we took a train into New York City. After four days in NYC, we drove back down to DC, and the next day back to Gainesville. I don't remember the total, but it was something around 2,500 miles, and probably a bit more. I shan't go into all the details, but I would like to give a shout-out to all the people we saw, who spent some time with us, and especially who hosted us. That's:

Nikita in Savannah - Couldn't imagine someone as busy as you having the time to be as good of a host as you were. Thanks for the pizza and the itinerary;

Joby and Christa in Atlanta - Staying with you two was a ton of fun, thanks for everything;

Alex in Atlanta - We'll always have the Clermont :] ;

Lyra in DC/Maryland - Loved your home -- I felt really comfortable there. It was wonderful to spend some time with you;

Allison in DC - Sometimes I forget how well we get along, and then I am reminded instantly when we talk;

Craig in Arlington/Alexandria - Thanks for dinner, thanks for the recommendation, and thanks for being the best boss/ex-boss ever;

Evan in Jersey - You know we're dogs for life;

Parisa in Manhattan - Thanks so much for the shelter and the company and the awesome evenings. And the cupcakes!

Janel in Manhattan - It was a pleasure to enter the void with you :)

Jeremy and Corey in Manhattan - Seeing you two and hanging around in the back yard was a lot of fun and I wish you nothing but the very best;

Sarah in Manhattan - It was fun in the sun -- we will get this band thing going when I get back...just you wait;

Mimi in my heart - You know you're the love of my life. Thanks for everything you have been and are still for me;

Carlos in DC - My enduring friend, I would have been very upset if we couldn't have seen each other. Also, sleeping next to you was exciting, if you couldn't tell;

I'd say that about covers the people I saw on the trip. Of course, I was in Gainesville for three days on either side of it, and for those days I have to say thank you to Becky for the shelter and the friendship and the love. That was a brutal parting, more bitter than sweet.

As I wrote earlier, this has all become much more real in the last few days. Throughout the trip, I was in a near-constant state of saying good-bye to people. Yesterday was the toughest day of all. I had to part with Stephen, my younger brother, and with Sonia and with Becky, all individually and in about a 90-minute span. To understate it: I was not in a very positive mood afterward.

There's not really anything standing between me and leaving anymore -- just a few more items to purchase, some bags to pack, a handful of days, and many more farewells.

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