Ending

Disorientation was the weekend before last.  There were trees and grass and caterpillars and dragonflies and crickets and cicadas and mosquitoes and heat and sunshine, and for one weekend it felt like real summer.  I slept in a field under the stars both nights, and I went swimming and soaked in the sunlight and didn’t shower for three days.  It was wonderful.

As we were taking the 101 South back from Sonoma, we drove through a tunnel in a hill in Marin and caught sight of the Golden Gate Bridge perfectly framed by the arch at the tunnel’s end, and I was filled with this sudden surge of warmth for San Francisco.  My God, we live in an amazing city.  Until that moment, I don’t think the fact that I’m leaving had really hit me—I’d been looking forward to the being home part of things but hadn’t thought much about the leaving San Francisco part.  There’s a part of me that thinks I’m a total idiot for moving away from a city this great.  And naturally, it’s not just the city I’m going to miss, but JVC as well.  I’ve learned a lot this year from the people and places that have been a part of my life, and it’s going to be strange to be separated from the structure that taught me everything.

I wrote those two paragraphs over a week ago.  They were going to be part of something longer that just never came together…  I can’t sort out my thoughts anymore.  Somehow I hadn’t expected leaving to be such a process.  I just pictured us living like we had all year, right up until the day we all went home.  Silly, right?  The past week and a half has been a chaos of packing and hurried goodbyes and rushing to tie up loose ends at work and prepare for next year’s JVs.  As exciting as moving can be, transitions are always rough.  I feel like I’ve been dragging a load of worries around with me since Dis-O—and some of that is also the weight of goodbye.  It hurts, leaving people I’ve grown so close to this year; and it hurts leaving people I know I’m not going to get to say goodbye to (like some of my coworkers who were laid off in May).  I know my roommates and I will keep in touch, but I also know that it’s impossible to stay as close as we’ve become while living together.  Saying goodbye is sad, and there’s really no getting around that.  I just have to make friends with the sadness.  Sit with it and take it for what it is.  It’s not a bad thing—sadness at leaving means that what I’ve had here is something worth missing.

My walls and my drawers are empty.  I can see my desk for the first time in months.  Julie’s going home tomorrow—my first roommate to leave—and I’m sitting on the futon listening to the music I stole from her computer and thinking about how much I’m going to miss everyone.  It’s been a great year.  It’s had its ups and downs, like every year does, but looking back, I’m just grateful for the entire experience.

Update Update!

Figured I’d post since, you know, I haven’t in a while, and I’m going on my final JVC retreat tomorrow.  Here is the news:

(1)  Saw my extended family last week when we went on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Key West to Cozumel to Belize.  Great to see the family; the boat made me dizzy.  Such is life.  I would also like to note that cruises are about as un-JVC as you can get.

(2)  I have an apartment for next year!  It’s in a converted elementary school off Hertel.  I’m pretty stoked to move.  For some reason I love moving?  Maybe it’s just nice to feel like my life is going somewhere, even if it turns out to be an illusion.  I am SO excited for fall.  I know I’ll be sad to leave San Francisco too, but fortunately that part hasn’t fully hit me yet.

(3)  Saw Coldplay on Monday at Shoreline Amphitheatre.  The concert was MASSIVE.  (About 22,000 people.)  And great, of course.  They had tons of cool lighting effects, they showered everyone with tissue paper butterflies and handed out free CDs at the end.  The music was awesome even though we could barely see the band.

(4)  Harry Potter 6 movie = fantastic.  In my opinion, of course.  This was the first one I didn’t criticize the hell out of for being different from the book.  It’s pretty likely that I just enjoyed it more because I was more open-minded this time, which is more of a reflection on me than on the movie.  But go see it anyway—unless of course you haven’t read the books, in which case, get your ass to a library NOW.

(5)  One more recommendation: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I’d been seeing that book around all year and I’d avoided reading it because it just seemed too JVC and I didn’t want to be a total cliché, but I found it at the library a couple of weeks ago and caved.  It was one of those books that seem to come at just the right time for me.  Definitely worth the read.

(6)  Disorientation starts tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing everybody and hanging out in nature and having the day off of work.  Retreats are a pretty sweet deal sometimes.  I’ll try to come up with something more interesting and insightful for you to read when I get back.

That’s about all for now.  I leave you with a picture of my future apartment building taken from its website:

Public School 22