Yesterday was chiefly dedicated to getting in a few last-minute visits with all the people I won't be seeing for a while. I checked out old haunts. Yelled goodbyes across intersections. Got in one more hangout session with all my most important people, who were unfailingly supportive. A group of my Japanese friends even presented me with a card (followed by a group hug) filled with a personal message from each, as is customary. It was very sweet.
I was so touched that I started to briefly have serious doubts about what I'm doing. My life here is safe, warm, happy, and useful, and I'm about to abandon it to chase a cloud at the top of a hill.
Then my friend Jugs told me that I'm doing exactly what I should be doing, and I snapped out of it.
Now it's the opposite, and I can't wrap my head around how totally level I feel. I'm not nervous, I'm not even excited. Aren't I going on a grand adventure? So how can I feel so calm?
The evening was my father's retirement party, which was a cocktail of strange emotions in and of itself, where news of my departure was rapidly slung around the room and I shortly found myself bombarded with well-wishes from what seemed like everyone I'd ever met, including those who hadn't seen me for two decades. Predictably, most people opened with the same few questions (which, to be fair, are all things you'd naturally want to know), but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't chuffed, and they led to all kinds of interesting conversations ranging from literary history to employee management.
It was a powerful reminder of everybody who's making this happen for me. At the same time as this is a titanic solo endeavour, I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who's offered their love, money, and assistance, because I only climbed this high by standing on their shoulders.