Thursday, September 07, 2023

End of Eras

It feels strange for Eli 22.1 to be leaving soon.

He's left before, many times, since we moved to Grand Rapids, but this time, he's not coming back. He'll be in England for years. Even if he did come back, there would be nothing to come back to, because I'll be leaving as well (next summer, most probably). 

When he does come back, it will be to an entirely new home, wherever I am.

I didn't think about this much, but in the last few weeks, I've become more and more aware of what's happening. When we left Austin, it was definitely the end of the first era of his life. Now, it's the end of his second.

I have so many conflicting feelings about Grand Rapids, and so does he, because of Gloria's passing. The sudden, shocking nature of her death left a deep imprint. So we both have some very happy memories of being here, but most of those memories are overwhelmed by other, darker ones.

He'll have a fresh start in Oxford, because he's leaving almost everything behind. I can't store it, because I won't be here, and wherever I do go, I'll be in an apartment. That means things he's accumulated during his life will mostly be discarded now. We'll have a small storage unit, probably, for both of us, but that will be all.

Things have a strange power over our lives, because stories are attached to them, and we don't want those stories to fade. 

I'd like for the next place I go to be the place I stay. Eli doesn't expect this, because once he leaves university (in five years and with a doctorate, if all goes according to plan), he'll be working all over the world. I'd like more certainty, though. I'd like for life to feel more solid, with fewer moving pieces. 

It's funny. I always think about physical fatigue as I get older, because damn, it's much harder to do things that it used to be, but I usually give short shrift to the mental fatigue. It's there, though, and one of the challenges of life as you age is learning how to relieve that fatigue and maintain your enthusiasm for new opportunities. 

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