Just one week left in the States

At this time in exactly one week, I’ll be somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean with a one-way ticket to a new normal and likely intense culture shock.

I haven’t prepared myself all too much for this move. While I am totally unattached on the surface — no job, no apartment, no relationship — it’d be unfair to say I’m not invested in the Philly area. After all, I’ve lived here for most of my life. In the last three years especially, I’ve refocused my social life and found some seriously incredible friends. And I’m finding it too hard to actually say goodbye.

After one too many drinks this week, I burst into ugly tears at a bar (sorry, The Cambridge, love you) at the sudden realization that it was the last time I’d be out in the city for the foreseeable future.

I know when I return (if I return?), everything will be different. And on some level, that bums me out. I wish I could just kidnap you all and bring you with me to Prague so you can’t move on in your lives without me. That’s legal and totally fair, right?

For the most part (side-eye to debilitating sickness from a few weeks ago), this final month stateside has been wonderful.

So far in August, I’ve:

  • Attended yet another Bayside concert. I love them with every fiber of my being. They are my musical soul mates.
  • Endured a shitshow on the lawn of the Blink 182 concert in Camden. On the plus side, I got to see my other band lovelies, A Day to Remember, for the first time since 2007. They are still knocking it out the park.
  • Traveled to DC to see a great friend and her two admittedly cute cats. We did touristy things like the White House and Ford’s Theatre/Peterson House, but also visited a bunch of fun bars, local haunts and breweries. We even stayed till last call at a bar in Old Town Alexandria with a group of awesome people who I’ll now call friends too.
  • Explored my home state in ways I never considered in all my years of living here. I spent two+ hours wandering around Red Bank Battlefield yesterday. Oh my goodness, so relaxing…despite how many people looked like ridiculous zombies in their hunt for Pokemon around me.
  • Visited the Jersey shore (my favorite town – Wildwood!) for an overnight trip with another sweet friend and her friends. My favorite part? The ocean! I usually hate that nasty, cloudy body of water. But nah, it was so warm and calm. I just floated around worry-free for a while and loved it.
  • Observed the city from new perspectives. I visited the Liberty Observation Tower on a whim when I met my old Fairmount roommate to say our goodbyes. We ended up spending a long time up there hunting landmarks and taking selfies with the cityscape. Later the same night, after saying my goodbyes to my top-visited local bar (per Untappd check ins), Bru, I visited Skygarten, a beer garden 51 floors in the clouds, with a former housemate for the sunset and night views.
  • Imbibed at several breweries: Cape May, Broken Goblet, Neshaminy Creek, New District, Right Proper, DC Brau, Crime & Punishment, Sehkraft. Honorary mentions from July 30 and 31’s brew-road trip: Bullfrog, Stickman, Tired Hands!

When I had my bar melt down, a friend reiterated that I’m making the best move for my personal growth. If I had stuck around, I’d risk turning entirely stagnant and morose professionally. This is very true.

Journalism as a career was not supposed to be my end destination. As much as I love writing, it’s now transitioning into an unpaid hobby (hey there, Yelp and self-named blog). Something else — I don’t know what yet — is still waiting for me to discover it.

Another friend emphasized that I need to keep on my path and do what’s right for me. I know that means following through with this likely absurd and slightly terrifying life shake up.

With that said, I guess I should actually say my “official” goodbye to you guys now (sniff!). I head to Colorado in a couple days for the weekend, immediately followed by Ireland and the Czech Republic.

I’ll leave you emo-kid style with a new Bayside song because that feels right.

This is my home now
Empty yet full of ghosts somehow
I thought the wine could chase the past away
but it hid under the couch
And I’m a liar
At least I’m learning from the best
We could all use something new
I’ve heard a change of pace is good
But I liked the way it was

Pack it up
I’ve got to go
Maybe California or Montreal or Mexico