Voldemort Part I: When You’re the Friend that Leaves

Hot Air Balloon

In a blog post I read awhile back, it talked about the time of change and growth that is the decade of the twenties, and it talked about how sometimes, as people move to and from different cities, our friends are going to be the ones that move away from us, and sometimes, we are going to be the ones that move away from them. We are going to be the ones that leave. And, well, the time has (almost) come when I am the one that is going to leave.

In less than two months, I am moving back to Portland for __________________ (undetermined – who the hell knows how long or how short) amount of time. One of my friends has dubbed this event “Voldemort,” such as “the event which shall not be named” just as Voldemort was “he who shall not be named” in H.P. We don’t bring it up much in conversation but when it does arise, “Voldemort” suffices and gives us a laugh and helps us to get it out of our minds a little bit quicker.

Just like with any big change, be it positive or not, in some ways I am ready to leave the home I have created for myself here in Mexico, and in others I am not. When it comes to being a teacher, I have one foot and most of my body out the door. Teaching is not what I want to be doing and it feels unnaturally confining and restricting in so many ways. Most weekdays, I feel a sense of stress and tension related to my classes. When I have exams to grade, even if they take me five minutes a piece, I feel a looming sense of pressure to get those puppies graded ASAP and I feel guilty if I even think about reading a book for pleasure if I have things to grade. When it’s Sunday, I don’t even for a minute feel like I can just chill the fuck out because I have prep work to do for class. When I have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, I go over it several times to make sure I am prepared enough to give it, and still I know that my armpits will sweat buckets when I am giving it in class. Are they going to ask me questions about the material that I don’t know the answer to? If I don’t know the answer, they will probably think that I’m not a good teacher and that I’m not credible because I don’t know the material back and front. These are thoughts that play through my mind throughout the year over and over again. They plague me, restrict me, leave me tense and stressed and stunted in my personal creativity and productivity. Ya, I am so ready to be done teaching. In that way, I am ready to get the heck out of Dodge now. 

But in another way, a very very big way, I can’t stand the thought of saying goodbye to the community of warm-hearted, caring, loving friends I have made in the past two years. When I bought my plane ticket yesterday, it felt as though my insides were simultaneously weeping/shriveling up/collapsing. Something in the very center of my chest was going wild as I confirmed my departure from my Mexican home back to the Pacific Northwest city where I grew up. It is a moment that seems so far from now, like there is still so much time between now and then. But I know that July 22nd will come by faster than a heartbeat for time is a funny thing; it goes by in the blink of an eye when we think it will take ages and light years to pass. I do not look forward to this event. I do not want to leave my friends, I want to take them with me. Miniaturize them so I can put them in the pockets of my dresses and take them with me wherever I go. You know, like those plastic Shrinkables we would color on and then put in the oven to shrink them and then wear them around as necklaces or bracelets (note to self: look into shrinking my friends…). I want to not say good bye, or hasta luego. I just don’t. So I won’t futurize about my feelings when I leave, prematurely write about how sad I am going to be while feeling those emotions before they have arrived. Instead, I am going to live up my last 8 weeks here and cherish every moment I spend with my girlfriends. I’ll let myself be sad about Voldemort if I need to be sad about Voldemort, because the contrary, denying and internalizing feelings, is an unhealthy recipe for a desmadre de Margarita (damn mess of Maggie). And trust me, we do not want any of those.

~

“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come. The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.” – Audrey Hepburn

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