I packed up my life today. In the span of a few hours, my apartment went from messy and unorganized to vacant (thanks mostly to my parents).
I have said goodbye to the people who have been the most important to me in the past five years this week. Friends who have been there for me when I was at my lowest. Friends who have been there for me at my best. New friends who have become family. And friends who have made me the woman I am today. I said goodbye to them, and I said goodbye to the city that started me off on my own. It wasn't easy.
I can't imagine what my life would be like without them, and now I have to. Of course we're going to keep in touch, but I won't be able to call them and go to a bar, or go get dinner with them at work.
I became a woman in Tampa. I fell in and out of love. I made life-long friends. I learned more about myself in the five years I lived there than in my first 18 combined. And now I've shut that door to open a new one.
Tomorrow I'm going to say goodbye to my childhood friends and family, and the city I was born in. I'm going to say goodbye to my parents, who have been there for me through all my crazy ideas and dreams. I'm going to say goodbye to my dog. I've already said goodbye to my brother, who is out of town this weekend. That won't be easy either.
I'm saying all these goodbyes, to say hello to a dream I've had since I was a teenager. To say hello to a city that has held my heart since the first time I saw it. To say hello to a future that holds the promise of everything I've ever dreamed.
I will take the people and places I've said goodbye to with me. In saying goodbye, I have not left them forever. I will be back to see them, and hopefully they will come to see me in my new life. It's goodbye for now, not forever. But I will miss them, and will think of them every day, and wish they were there with me.