Six months ago today, I left Washington, D.C. in a U-haul truck and headed north. As I drove over the Potomac River, I didn't cry.
Six months later, I can honestly and happily say that I have no regrets.
I equated leaving DC with a break-up, and in the last six months, that analogy has only grown stronger. I have distance, I see everything clearly... and I have closure.
Of course I miss my friends, but I also realize how lucky I am to live in an era of cell phones, instant messaging, and well, blogs. I can talk to my friends whenever I want. I don't have to pre-plan phone calls and I'm not tethered to a phone stuck to a kitchen wall. I can send letters and cards, but because I want to, not because it is the only affordable means of communication.
My parents had been dating for a few years when my dad accepted a post-graduate scholarship at The University of Illinois. They wrote letters and they endured infrequent, expensive phone calls. When my mom was hired as an elementary school teacher, she called him excitedly, "I have a job! We can get married now!" Of course, my dad had already proposed, but the fact that they now had a source of income changed everything.
I'm sure that they still have the letters they exchanged between Michigan and Illinois, bittersweet reminders that absence might make the heart grow fonder, but it certainly isn't FUN.
Now? I am so, SO happy to be where I am - geographically, professionally, and especially personally. I feel that at this point in my life, I am exactly where I want to be. I am so lucky to have had the countless amazing opportunities that living in DC afforded me. The years I spent in DC were part of a wonderful phase of my life and my experiences there have made me the person I am today.
Walking alone this morning, along the Huron River, just cemented my feelings.