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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Tate

Leaving Before I've Left

One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was the physical and emotional leaving before we actually left. I’m already halfway gone. We take practice trips on the boat. I run errands for outfitting the boat. My headspace is consumed with details about the Great Loop. I’ve missed things in the past few months. Important things - like two Sundays in Advent, a class on how to get better at loving our “outside neighbors” from our church, an art show opening, a few get-togethers with dear friends. I already missed important relationships and events in my life and I feel sad about it. As an Enneagram 2, I am trying to control my need to do things to make myself essential to relationships - leaving people is kind of terrifying. Focusing on what I need to do for this trip has left me sort of hanging and wondering. Will I have these same relationships when I get back? Will there still be space for me in the lives of the friends I leave? Will I still fit my life when I come back? Will I be ok if I don’t? These are pretty scary questions for me to really admit.

I left home a few years ago. My husband and I spent all our adult life and raised our kids in Austin before moving to Chattanooga in 2017. Leaving Texas was beastly for me. Not in the sense of not being able to make new friends - we are both very social and connect easily. But life has trauma and when you go through it with people, they KNOW you. You can’t just recreate those deep, years-long relationships. I’m just 4 years into a life with new dear friends and a new town - how am I going to stay connected while away? After 18 months of Zoom, is anyone going to want to be online to chat with me for fun? I have a terrible track record to maintaining long distance relationships. But, this year's practice is going to be intentionally maintaining them. Please stay in touch!!

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