(Way too many) thoughts on leaving

Boz and I will be wheels-up in exactly 16 days. Typing this fact is pretty tough. I feel like I am reliving last December, when I was all torn-up about leaving Pancho and TX...except this time I know it's much more permanent. We might live in Tokyo again. I really hope we live in Tokyo again. But who knows? Perhaps multiple visits are all that's in the cards. (And now we'll stop speculating lest I start crying).

On so many levels, I am ready to go home. I'm ready to be back where it's easy to have a conversation, make friends, pursue my regular activities and eat goldfish crackers (<sadly, that was redundant).  I'm ready to see my family and I'm ready to wrap myself around the world's most handsome boxer. I'm actually dying to do all those things. However, I am also incapable of walking down Roppongi-dori this week without getting a lump in my throat and requiring a reminder to breathe. Tokyo has changed Boz and me in countless ways. Most obviously, we came here unmarried. (It sounds remotely scandalous when I say it like that. Obviously I'm going to exaggerate that into an epic tale for our kids someday.) But seriously...we were still engaged when we landed in Tokyo. And then I feel like we got married in Ohio...but we became married in Tokyo. We flew back the day after our wedding and continued to depend solely on each other...for everything...for a year. I have absolutely no doubt we would have made an awesome year of 2014 no matter where we lived...but there was a magic to having no one else around (millions of Japanese people notwithstanding) that made this relationship feel supernaturally strong.

On some level, I'm afraid to go back. I'm worried some of the things we learned about each other and about how to do 'us' will get lost in the distractions of work and friends and Pancho and yoga and festivals and Austin awesomeness. I'm actually pretty sure they will. Boz, who is normally eternally optimistic to a degree which sometimes borders on delusional (and is entirely intentional), has expressed the same concern. (Actually...to be fair...he expressed that concern once and immediately retracted it, never to be repeated, after seeing me spiral into the worrying death-trap that is my mind.)

I'm also afraid to leave this city that makes it so easy to feel alive. I love Texas with all my heart and I am thrilled we are heading back. But because Texas is home, I am less inclined to go to museums/take cooking classes/join meetup groups/perform as a sea urchin. It's easy to just hang out at coffee shops, go rock climbing and run on the greenbelt. (Those are all awesome activities, of course...but they're the things I do regularly. They don't stretch me at all.)

I recognize the very clear challenge here. It's time to go home and face my fears and hold on to the best parts of Tokyo while living in Austin. Tokyo taught me (and Boz) everything it could at this point in our lives and the follow-up lessons are waiting for us in Texas.

We have numerous going-away parties planned with B's coworkers over the next two weeks. We have dinner reservations at an incredible restaurant for our solo last hurrah. We have an appointment with a photographer to take shots of us around the city...in the most 'Tokyo' scenes. We're ending on a high note and I know that we will be back to Japan many times.

I often say I love Texas with all my heart. It's romantic and hyperbolic...but it has always appropriately conveyed my feelings. I now need to say I love Texas with half my heart. Tokyo owns the other half...and I wouldn't have it any other way.




...slowly unraveling at the seams.