Saturday, 31 March 2012

Rituals of Parting

As I write this I'm sitting in my living room in Oxford, with the car packed. My keys are on the kitchen table, and once I get up and walk out of the room, I won't be coming back in. It's a strange thought, as I've been very happy here, but I'm feeling a lot more ready to go than I was last time I posted.

I think what's helped a lot is to go through all the rituals of leaving. I had a goodbye party, where many of my London friends came down and at BBQ food and drank. At the end of the evening we played drinking Top Gun, and I realised that I've had these friends for years. They've seen me go before, and they'll still be there when I get back - and still playing drinking Top Gun. I might be going away for a bit, but it's not permanent, and it's something I've coped with before.

The next day, we went off to the Henley Boat Races, and spent a day by the river in the sun watching rowing. And this time next year, the boat races will still be happening - and I'll be back in time to see them. So many of the things I love about my life here repeat every year - so if I miss a year, it's not the end of the world.

Then I did all the dull stuff - cleaning out my room, parents coming to get my stuff, sorting out my banking, and so on. Not fun, but once it's done there's a sense of being organised and ready to go. And a sense of having done all that work so you might as well go.

Of course there are bits that are still sad. And I'm a long way away from being excited. But I'm readier for it than I was, which isn't a bad start.

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