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There’s no easy way to say goodbye. I thought I have had a lot of practice since I have moved or traveled across the world, states, cities, homes, offices, and schools in almost 20 years. But, my stomach would still crunch, and tears would well up uncontrollably at that moment when I knew that the second I turned my back, I would not see those people, places, desks, beds—again. As much as I tried to convince myself that... "it’s life, I have to move on" - my mind would race with questions like "am I making the worst decision?" "Will I see them again?" "What if I don’t like where I am going?" "Argh, I should have said..." - which were all too late!

I surrendered.  I surrendered to the emotions, and I felt sad in that moment. I said my goodbyes and expressed my gratitude. I thanked them for the moments we got to spend together, the good and the bad, and for everything I got to learn, generate, and let go. 

At the same time, my feet would walk where I needed to go. I could still move forward, even while my heart was processing my grief. 

***

Thanks for the prompt! Enjoy your new home 🏡

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Thank you for sharing, Karen. This is so beautifully said. Surrendering to your emotions is how we experience life to the fullest. I've definitely learned that it's okay to be sad and to lean into your emotion.

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Apr 5, 2023Liked by Yuezhong Zheng

I have moved 30 plus times in my life across 4 continents and 9 countries - never, gets, easier. Good luck with the move!

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Good to know that I am not alone :)

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Apr 2, 2023Liked by Yuezhong Zheng

It sounds like you're going through an emotional toll of moving. It's completely understandable when leaving a place with so many cherished memories. Moving can be a bittersweet experience, but it's important to remember that you have the strength and resilience to adapt to new surroundings and create new memories. Allow yourself to connect and take the time to process your feelings. Remember that you can always hold onto the memories you've made and carry them wherever you go.

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Thank you for your kind words, Winston. I've been enjoying getting to know the neighborhood.

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I love your analogy, likening us to houseplants 🪴 I’ve come to see each move as the start of a new season of life; some short, some long. And I find that transitioning between seasons requires I allow myself time to mourn. I tend to mourn in advance, anticipating how much I will miss a place, people, season. And I need that time; it’s finalizing, cleansing in a way. It allows me to start fresh at the next place. As an artist, I also try to take with me pieces of each place, photographs of how the light fell, short videos of my favorite moments, sketches of my favorite spots. Places we move from travel with us, shaping who we are as we move into what’s next. Mourning and savoring: that’s how I say goodbye.

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Sara, thanks so much for sharing! I love what you've sad about mourning in advance for the loss that we're going to experience soon. How do you mourn? Is taking photographs part of that process?

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Taking photographs, or sometimes sketching, is definitely part of that mourning process. It’s my way of saving the memory while I still can, stashing it away to look back on. It also looks like letting myself feel and cry... my husband’s learned that I just need to be held when I’m ‘mourning in advance’

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Yuezhong, Welcome to your new home. I hope it gets filled with love and laughter. D

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Thank you, Dave :)

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I’ve moved apartments three times in the last five years, and though it was in the same city, it was always a bit said. As you said, deciding what to take with me, reevaluating my life to see which things no longer served a purpose, and getting to scan my bookshelves as I put my books in boxes to relocate them again and relive all the literary adventures I had experienced in that apartment. I’m actually due to move to another city in February, and it’ll be my biggest relocation since college. I’m excited but also pretty scared, I gotta say.

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Thank you for sharing, Andrei. Moving is never easy, and I hope your upcoming move in February goes well. The good thing about knowing your upcoming move early is that you have time to prepare.

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Lots of tears! I’ve learned I’m deeply connected to place, so leaving can be especially hard.

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Especially when you're also a gardener, you're also connected to the earth! How do you say goodbyes to plants and flowers?!

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I was just thinking about this... as I realized recently that all the flowers I inherited from my grandmother have completed their life cycle. I have none of her plants growing in my gardens anymore (she passed away many years ago). It reminds me of the book, The Seed Keeper. Highly recommend it!

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