Crying on the Inside

29 Jul

My last ten days in Oakland have been a wonderful blur. Wonderful because I’ve had the chance to spend so much time with people I care about. A blur because things are moving so fast that nothing has had a chance to sink in.

I’ve said goodbye to many friends. I’ve also said “keep in touch”, “I’ll be back in the Bay”, “come visit me”. These things are much easier to say than goodbye. But it’s not just me being emotion-avoidant; I really do mean it. Sensing that OC is not on anyone’s list of must-see places, I’ve actually been begging people to visit me (“You can have your own bathroom!”, “The beaches are actually warm!”, “Did I mention you get your own bathroom?”). Apparently my desperation is palpable because one friend said dryly, “Maybe you should start offering tote bags.” (Great idea! I can already think of little Orange County souvenirs to place in a goody bag. Will you visit me now?)

I’m sad to be leaving so many people that I care about. But I’m old enough to know that some friendships can endure time and distance, and that I don’t need regular contact to feel close to someone. Also, the activist community is so small and networked that I can feel connected to someone without really knowing them. I’m also obsessed with Facebook. Obsessed.

I keep wondering if/when I will start crying. Leaving Oakland, the place and people I consider my home, is emotional for me. I’ve had several people cry around me, but my own tears haven’t come yet. I’m notorious for being unemotional (my Meyers-Briggs profile is unfailingly ISTJ – Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging – which is apparently the same type as Darth Vader and Condoleezza Rice), but I thought that surely I would have a moment by now where I would be overwhelmed by emotion.

Then I remembered when I left the Bay Area to move to China. The situation is different because I knew I would come back, but the distance was very real. Through it all, I didn’t cry. Until I was all alone in a strange room in China. Then the tears fell. I thought I had made the wrong decision, I missed everyone terribly, and it really hit me that I was by myself.

So I will leave sans tears. I won’t cry until one day I will. And then I will tell all of you via Facebook to guilt you into visiting me. (Did I mention you get a tote bag?)


5 Responses to “Crying on the Inside”

  1. warmheartyoga July 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I love reading your thoughts and ideas and hope in this way at the very simplest, we can keep in touch.

    Moving has for me, too, is always a moving event, though during the last big move tears didn’t find their way to my eyes until after the month-long extravaganza of saying see you later to most, goodbye to some, revisiting the places I loved best, closing accounts, sorting through, tossing, recycling, giving away, selling, bundling up the items that make my life easier and more comfortable, not until after four days on the road, little dog curled up into my side, a welcome dinner and shower, not until I lay loved and comfortable in that double bed that very first night exhaling the joys and trevails of my past and inhaling in the moment, and the possibilities of what was to come…

    And what a journey it has been.

    Happy trails to you. Enjoy the ride.

    With love,

    • cil1977 July 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this, Mary! I love reading your writing and the thoughtful way you share your perspective. Please do keep commenting! It makes the ride much more enjoyable. 🙂

  2. Wes! August 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    The best of friendships *do endure the time and distance. One of my best friends in college is on the East Coast and things are still all good when we hang out. I have full faith that another of my best friends moving just down the state will be something we’ll adjust to just fine. 🙂


  1. Visiting OC: Not the happiest place on earth « oakland 2 oc - October 21, 2011

    […] early pleas for visitors from the Bay were met with barely convincing assurances of, “Yeah, sure, I’ll visit […]

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