This week has been pretty crazy. This entire journey I have been trying to take it section by section. The first part was my paperwork. Then there were my final clearances and my pack out dates. Finishing cleaning my apartment was next, followed by moving into the hotel, and finally turning in my keys. Then it was time for my final trip home.
On Tuesday, I finished my last day working with my boss, who will be traveling when I am back in Washington. A year ago, he took a chance on me. Many people have in the past year or so. I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me, changed my life and career.
It was then time to turn in my keys to my apartment and finish that up. Wednesday, I started out on my final drive to California and twelve hours later, I was in Sacramento. The drive was beautiful. I didn’t get many pictures, but just made sure I enjoyed to views and the drive.
My ‘bucket list’ trip would be driving across the United States and viewing all of the fun and exciting things to do and see. This was definitely a great closing way to view all the amazing parts of Oregon and Washington. Yes, I still missed a lot of things, but those will just have to wait until I am able to come back again. Thursday, I headed out from Sacramento for the final leg of my journey. This part lasted on about 6 hours, but it seemed like FOREVER! It was finally over and I pulled onto my childhood street and got home. What a great time of personal reflection that I was able to have on that trip.
I still had a lot to do the next couple of days and was feeling the time crunch. Thursday night was photography night with my dad. We went to Michael’s and bought some Halloween stuff and decided to do some light painting in the backyard. We spent a couple of hours playing with cameras and toys and got some great pictures.
My original plan was to leave my car with my dad, but it meant that I would still be making the payments while I was overseas. And if I would decide to sell it, then I could do so at a later date. About two weeks ago I decided that I was going to just sell it. So on Friday, I went and got it detailed, then took it over to CARMAX where the people were great and I got a fair deal. I really liked my car, but it was not going to be happy just sitting here while I was overseas.
Friday night I spent a great time with amazing friends from probation. We went out in Ventura and had drinks, dinner, and fun conversations. They really are some of the the best things that I was able to take away from probation, and I feel for those who still have to deal with the mess that is that place. I hear nothing but not so great things and feel it is only a matter of time before someone is injured because of the incompetencies of the executives there.
Saturday morning my dad and I got up to go pick up his truck in Ventura. I had to leave it there due to the activities from the night before.
Saturday was my going away BBQ with family and friends. Despite my lack of sleep, this was a great time. I got to see all my family and most of my close friends who could make it. Nothing beats my dads BBQ, beers, and laughs in the backyard. My sister, my friend’s wife, and my dad took a lot of time to put the whole thing together and it was so great.
After everyone left I think the reality of what I am about to embark on finally started setting in. I have been checking things off my list and going onto “what’s next.” My list is getting smaller and smaller. The numbers of days are getting shorter and shorter. With each goodbye there is the thought that this will be the last time I see everyone for quite some time. While technology has made the world smaller, it still does not replace the ability to just drive over to see someone, go out for drinks, or setup a BBQ in the backyard. I have gained and lost things and people during this journey. A few were expected, and a few were out of the blue surprises. I sit here now in the home in which I grew up and remember all the times I had and think about the times I am going to miss. I know this is my own adventure and I am going to see and experience new things, but I can’t help but be here and reminisce about all the great times I have had on this journey and wonder what is in store for me on the next chapters. For now, I am slowly going through my final list of things I have to finish up before I leave.
Sunday was a beautiful day in California. I drove to Santa Monica and went to PCC, then met up with a friend for a quick visit. Since it was Labor Day weekend, I decided a short trip to my uncle’s home in Northridge for a visit with my grandma was a good idea. She is pretty amazing and keeping her independence while getting help from my aunt, uncle, and cousins. The little house they built for her is a great little oasis for her to live. My Grandma Glo is one of my biggest fans. I remember spending weeks during the summer visiting her and going around Santa Monica and helping around her house. I am glad we can Skype and video chat while I am overseas.
Monday I met up with my very good friend and his girlfriend for drinks in Valencia. He has been a great friend these past few years and we have been on some great adventures. I am glad we got to sit down and have one last day of laughs.
I still have so much to do while I am in California. I have so much to see that I know I will miss something. I have this cloud hanging over me, a feeling that I am missing saying goodbye to someone or something and I know I can’t get everything done. That, coupled with the stress that I am leaving Wednesday, it is just overwhelming. I have another group of friends to see today and think some quiet time on the beach is required before I leave California for the last time.
The days are getting shorter and it feels more real.
3 days and a wakeup.