There's always a strange sort of limbo feeling that comes in the weeks before a long-distance move. I'm not gone yet but I start to sort of mentally check out of where I am. There is the excitement about where I'm going but also sadness, knowing what I'll miss about the place I'm leaving.
The deciding to leave is usually a much longer process than it has been this time. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to leave Wisconsin after graduating from college and knew it would be DC over a year before I left. With every move since, there has been a feeling that a place was done for me, at least for a while. Generally, I've had a strong sense that it was time to go. I've had time to plan where to go and who, if anyone, would be moving with me. Time to listen to everyone's opinions and then make my own decision, whether that involved taking anyone else's advice or not.
The whole Madison thing has been a bit of a different situation. It did make perfect sense for me to leave Austin when I did. Amy was leaving, my job was ending, and there was no real reason for me to stay. But unlike previous moves, there was the matter of someone else having input into whether I moved here.
It makes perfect sense for me to leave Madison now. Unlike previous moves, the reason to leave is not of my choosing, but the result is that again there is no real reason for me to stay.
Three weeks from now, I'll be on my way to Texas. In the meantime, I have twelve days of work left, friends to see, all of my worldly possessions to pack, and a mindset shift to undergo. There are moving plans to finalize, a teaching exam to study for, and a massive book that arrived today and needs to be completely read before I start my program a few days after arriving in Texas.
So I'll live another three weeks with one foot in life here and the other in what's to come. The space between loss and anticipation, memories and possibilities, past and future, here and there.