There is line in the Office – “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” That is where I am this evening.
All journey’s end. It is an easy and simple fact until you reach an end. Then it seems neither simple nor easy. If you are like me, you will look around in the final days and see all that used to be. It is an unsettling feeling of change. I felt it when I graduated from university and started working. And I feel it now as I prepare to say farewell to Guelph.
In my last days, I find myself going back to the places, the people and the things that make it difficult to move on.
The places – Never having owned a car, I went back to that same one trail I’ve been on a hundred times. The university that brought me to the city. Places I’ve eaten at and that one movie theatre on my side of town. Guelph has always seemed small and I’ve only ever taken the bus to get places. But I’ve always enjoyed that and it’s part of what draws me to places now. I learnt about myself living here and I’m grateful for that.
Then there’s the people. They’re harder to say goodbye to. I don’t think there is a right way. Can one say everything that they need to and should? About how lucky you’ve been to meet them. How many times they saved you from dark days or rough times. And how they are the reason moving on will be so hard. Maybe they will all read this and know how much they have come to mean to me. And how lucky I feel to have known them. I met a brilliant lady today who I wish I’d met ages ago. In the short span of conversation, she instantly became one of the things I would miss about Guelph. And all I could do was wish we had met sooner. But that’s just how it is sometimes.
And then there’s me – packed (mostly) and moving forward to whatever awaits tomorrow and all the tomorrows after. I will spare you the workings of a mind leaving a space of comfort and warmth. It is enough to say that my thoughts are in flux but I still manage to take a breath and watch the final days pass by.
And lastly we come to the good old days. How do we know we’re in them when we are?
I don’t know. But I do know that we can look around right now. At everything and everyone you have. At everything that’s worked out or is on it’s way to working out. Look at the smallest victories in your day and those you never thought you’d achieve. Look at the people who ask if you’ve eaten and those who ask if you’re okay. These are “good old days” in the making.
And if you take a minute to appreciate them and the people and trails and places you’ve called home, I believe you’ve done it right.