So I did it, finally. After all the talking and planning and daydreaming, I finally moved to Colombia. While such a drastic move might take some people a while to chew on, I knew right away when Camilo asked me what my answer was. Yes. I will move to Colombia with you. Because I'm crazy and I love you and for some reason I know in my heart this is the right thing for me.
And so here we are, sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the guestroom in your sister's apartment. Living out of our suitcases until we find a place of our own, which we're 90% sure we found the one we want and crossing our fingers we get. We have a "sort of" plan. We know what we want to accomplish but so far we're just trusting that it will all work out. Because we're both procrastinators and neither of us is in the profession of planning things. You would think that, me being a Virgo, I would have everything planned accordingly and on a set schedule. But I don't. I'm good at making lists. Said lists usually just sit in the notebook without getting checked off, save for one or two items that I check just to make myself feel accomplished.
I'm not worried though. We tend to somehow make these things work, our crazy ideas. "We should take a vacation. We haven't been on a plane in two months. Want to go to [insert city name here]?" And what do you know, one week before our planned trip date we book the tickets and figure we can take care of the hotel the day before we leave and without any set plans, we go. I guess in a nutshell that's how we ended up here, though there was some planning and we bought the tickets one month in advance. You can talk and talk and picture what it is you want to do, but until you click the "book flight" button you don't realize how real it is...
Which brings me to some things I want to share about my pre-move to Colombia.
Anyone who knows me knows I have had no qualms about moving here. I've been happy and excited and 100% sure since the notion was brought up. I know that certain friends and family plan to visit within the year, and I know that Camilo's friends and family will do everything they can to make this a warm, welcoming experience. I didn't know how it would be saying goodbye to my friends, but surprisingly, it wasn't bad at all. I guess knowing we'll keep in touch and see each other in a few months helped. I hugged everyone and said "See you later" and that was that.
Then I went home to Roy Lake to spend my final two weeks with the family.
All went well. I didn't feel scared or sad and I generally had the same feeling as when I said goodbye to my friends. I was excited, everyone was excited for me, and I knew everything would be O.K.
Fast forward to my last night at home. I had said goodbye to my sister earlier that day and, though it was hard and I hugged her tighter than I think I ever have, I was fine (well okay I secretly teared up a little, but I managed not to cry).
My BF Krystal came that night with her three girls. We had hung out quite a lot since I had been home, so I didn't think it would be any different. We had dinner, watched a movie, played pool and the girls drew pictures and played with my cat. After a few hours, they headed out. That was the first goodbye that really struck me, and let me tell you, it hit me hard. My niece Iris, Krystal's oldest, hugged me tight and told me she was reallllllllly going to miss me. And I felt that pain of missing someone dear to you, even when you're in the middle of an embrace. Still, I held it in. The younger girls gave me quick hugs and said "Bye Auntie Mahli!" and were out the door. Then Krystal hugged me. I think she found some sort of button on my back that read: eject all tears NOW, because they just started pouring out. I told her we would keep in touch, hugged her once again, and they left. And then I went to my room and began bawling.
After collecting myself, I went upstairs to visit with my parents. I still had to pack (I'm a procrastinator, remember) but figured I would do it in the morning - I wanted to spend time with mis padres. I was watching TV with my mom when she looked at me and asked if I would be up late. I said I would stay up with her a while and then she said "I'm really going to miss you" and began crying. So then I began crying and we hugged and cried some more and then started laughing because we knew we'd be seeing each other in the Springtime.
The next day my dad drove me back to Minneapolis. I was back to feeling fine and happy, though I did have some quiet, reflective moments in the car. We had dinner, hung out, and saved our goodbyes for the morning. I had burned him a CD, so I told him I would run it down to him before he left his hotel the next day. When he called that morning to tell me he was on his way out, I grabbed said CD and ran it down to him. We hugged, he said "have a safe flight and I'll see you soon", and then he drove away and I went back up to my room. And then I started crying again.
The day of our flight I was in too much of a hurry and way too excited to even think about how I was going to miss everyone. I was in quite a good mood, actually. But once we were on the plane, that feeling began to creep up on me again. No. I'm not going to cry. I'm not even sad. I'm happy. Ecstatic actually. I will not cry. Don't think about it. Don't even think about thinking about it. Damn it..
Suffice it to say, I started crying again. This wasn't bawling; more of a quiet, tears-streaming-down-your-cheeks-but-not-sobbing crying. And it began as soon as the plane began to take off. This was actually goodbye. Goodbye Minnesota. Goodbye friends, family, pets and things I couldn't fit into my suitcase. Goodbye home of 30 years...
And then this overwhelming happiness swept over me. I am doing this. I am making one of the most important moves of my life. I am finally embracing myself, my dreams, my happiness. I'm doing this because it's in my veins to do so. I am moving to Colombia!
I will miss home. I know this. But I find peace in knowing it is right there, exactly where I left it, and it will always be waiting for me with open arms.
For now, I move forward. I embrace this exciting new journey. I spread my wings. I let the wind carry me to my new home.