Like most of you, I sometimes leave the house and have to go back for something I forgot. I step back in the door, thirty seconds after I left, and my wife makes some comment about “quick trip” or “what did you forget this time” and I laugh it off as I grab the missing item.
Then, as I step back out the door I always say the same thing: “Really leaving now…”
And today those three words struck me differently.
We’re a week away from leaving Los Angeles. A surreal truth, and one I haven’t even grasped yet. Because this week will be the first time it feels real.
My wife has been prepping already. Getting rid of things. Going through closets. Cleaning out and organizing as she goes. She may not have packed any boxes yet, but the pieces are all aligned.
Meanwhile, I’ve been in the same routine I’ve been in for months. I spend my days editing or writing, sometimes both, with brief breaks to help with our son, walk the dog, or go to a lunch meeting.
So even though our departure date has been concrete for some time, my schedule has continued unaffected. It’s not real to me yet… until this week.
Now it’s time to put the editing projects on hold. Pack the computers. Turn our still–livable home into a fort of cardboard boxes. That will make it very real.
And then today, as I was taking what will be one of my last LA hikes with our dog, I came to the awareness that this week will be full of “lasts”. Final times to do many ordinary things which have been part of our routine during our time in Los Angeles.
My wife and son will leave and fly out while I’m loading the truck with our belongings. I expect that to gut me. And seeing our home bare will hurt as well.
Yet, they won’t be the hardest moment.
When I pull our huge rented Penske onto the 134 freeway, I will turn east. And a few moments later I will pass by the exit where my great friend and co-host Paul has lived since long before we started Everyday Driver.
In that moment, all my closest friends in the world will live West of me. And I expect the emotions which have stayed hidden so far will burst forth.
Though there are great things to come in our story, a long and monumental chapter in our lives will close. Of course, I will return to LA, and will often…
But there won’t be a home in the valley where I can forget something and quickly return.
“Really Leaving Now.”