Well, this is it. The last My Life in Exile post. As I sit here I really don't know what to say. But as is frequent with me that won't stop me.
Is it possible to be completely excited to get someplace yet not at all want to leave the place you are currently standing? I know that it is possible, because that is how I feel right now. Frankly it is kind of maddening.
It is sort of like graduating. At least that is what it feels like to me. When you start school the end seems so far away. Along the way to nothing turns out exactly the way you wanted it to, you know what you would do different if you had to do it all over again, but you treasure every step along the way. At the end, when it is finally time to take the walk you are surrounded by the friends you made along the way.
When I graduated I looked around at all my friends and was a little sad. Sad not because I was loosing them as friends, I knew that a lot of these folks would be friends I would have for the rest of my life. I also knew, however, that nothing would ever again be the same between us. The very nature of our friendships had to change with the changing of our surroundings and not every friendship would make it. I consider myself so very fortunate, however, that I have been able to keep so many of those friends throughout my life. Those very friends, and naturally family, are the very ones I am returning too.
Knowing that I have been able to remain friends with those people for so long, with some of them being so far away, gives me the confidence to know that I will be able to stay friends with my West Coast friends despite my change of surroundings. When I arrived here with my two ridiculously well packed suitcases (sans can opener) good fortune has smiled upon me nearly from the start. The friendships I have made started to form nearly the day I arrived, and I have continued to make new friends even up to the day that my stuff was removed from my apartment.
There was a moment where I was really upset about my time out here in Exile. Things weren't going exactly the way I wanted and I was feeling a little homesick. I was talking to Brian about some events that happened to me that day, and he said to me one sentence that brought my whole time here into focus. He said “Ya know, Greg... Everything happens for a reason. Maybe there is a reason that you are out in California. But maybe that reason isn't for you, it is for you to be there for someone else.” I never felt so humbled.
It was soon after hat, and I am not really sure when, Exile stopped being an exile. One aborted blog entry (believe it or not I have some type of standard for the drivel I publish) was about the day I first called my San Jose apartment 'Home'. (I know I should have changed the blog name at that point, but who wants to read “My every stuff in the place formerly known as Exile?') Such is the root of my paradox. I am leaving a place that I considered 'home' for at least a little while, but I am leaving it to go back Home.
So it is with equal parts sadness and joy that I leave Exile. It has been a wild ride, at times, between the everyday stuff. One of the things you can here me say nearly everyday to people out here is “I am not dying.” Indeed I will still be back here on occasion for business or vacation, and at some point may actually get sent back for another tour of duty. While I may be leaving Exile I am taking a part of it with me. And if living in Exile has taught me one thing, it is to always be open to new people and adventures, and where ever those adventures take you have a towel and can opener.
I won't miss the horrible drivers here, or idiotic pedestrians, and cramped parking lots. I am looking forward to seeing more of old friends, getting reacquainted with my own house, and working a new but groove into the couch in front of my absurdly large TV. I can't wait for the next 'First Friday' in town and 'Blob Fest' is literally and figuratively right around the corner. So my adventures will continue in some form or another.
To anybody still reading to this point, or to anyone that has read any of my crap in the past year, you truly have left me flattered. I can't believe how many people over the course of the year have told me that they have enjoyed reading this stuff. Not wanting to believe that they were all secretly making fun of me, thank you to every last person. I have enjoyed writing and I hope I didn't embarrass myself to much. At least unintentionally embarrass myself!
I am not sure if I am going to keep doing this once I return. It truly surprise me that people even would want me to. People used to tell me to speed up or, or worse, shut up, when I launched into a story. Having someone want to read something I wrote, or even be a guest star, is something that I truly have trouble comprehending. It is a weird thing to write only about stuff that happens to you. I never wanted to be narcissistic. Believe it or not I just tried to be entertaining. You should see the list of half written, or even fully written posts, that I just never thought were good enough to publish. Regardless, if I keep writing it won't be called the same thing.
So there you have it. The last 'My Life in Exile'. At least until I get sent back here again. I hope you liked reading these as much as I have like writing them.