I Was Always Leaving Anyway

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” nelson.mandela.


Looking back, I never had any choice but to Go. I was born with a certain Wonder in my genes and a Drive in my blood. My American mom moved to Australia to be with my dad, chasing Something. My Australian dad was trekking around an unfamiliar country, seeking Something. I don’t know the details, but they don’t quite matter. There is always something to find in the place that you are not.

Upon moving to the States from Australia, my parents chose not to settle into the place where they knew people, the place where my mom was from (-California). Instead–from what I know–they packed my brother and I into an RV and started looking for Something to find in the place that they were not. They drove until they found a place to make their own (-Colorado). And as soon as we were old enough, my brother and I left to find our own places to make ours. It is not that we wanted to leave; we were just always born and raised to Go.


1996: Learning to Go.

I do not like to become too comfortable; I do not like to become accustomed to the routine and the monotony of what is known. There is something extraordinary in planning for what is to come and wondering where you will find the next Something. I want to be uncomfortable; I want to be astonished.

My parents did not stay together, but the lessons they taught us were synergetic. My dad taught us how to pack a bag efficiently, and how to save and budget for the Next thing you are doing, and how to sit in relaxation on a beach and take a moment to look around you. My mom taught us how find a deal, and how to seek connections in strangers, and how to embrace the unexpected and turn every moment into a story. They both taught us how to take off in a plane and how to roll forward in a car. They both taught us to look, and to move, ahead–to Go.

All of the lessons my parents have explicitly and implicitly taught me throughout my life, individually and together, have culminated in this fact: I was always leaving anyway. It was never worth pretending otherwise. Even when the Leaving is hard, the Going is great. There is always Something to be found, Somewhere beyond.

IMG_6088Now, I stand on the precipice of leaving Boston—the place that I have made my own. There is nothing that I am trying to leave behind, but there is so much that I am Going towards. Over the past several months, I have found myself wrapping up more and more of my stories with a tight and clean “I was always leaving anyway”. In all that I have done over the past ten or so months, I have always known with what and when it was going to end—I was always leaving anyway.

Leaving drives the plot of every story as both an end and as a beginning. My recent stories have ended with me leaving; now it’s time for them to start with the fact that I Left.

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