The First Day

I recently wrote a post about processing your experiences. But today I will be switching gears (har har) to talk about a more immediate experience, one that has not been mediated by time, space, or perspective.

me and car, stuffed to the gillsI’m talking about this

Epic Road Trip I’m on.

If you’ve signed up for the newsletter, you already got a taste of it yesterday. But here is where I’ll be posting my observations and stories along the way, as they happen.

Observation 1: Leaving is harder than Going

As stressful as it was to throw a party the day before leaving D.C., it was an awesome party. Friends came from far away, in sickness and in health, bearing non-space-taking gifts and their love and encouragement for the journey.

It was still difficult to let go of things I thought I could use in the next 6 months. Friends helped.

It was painful to cart so many boxes down to the post office, my biceps and forearms protesting the awkward burdens. Friends helped.

It felt so rushed, with so much pressure to Get Out Of There. I ended up leaving 3 hours later than intended, and forgot all the coats and bags hanging in the closet. (D’oh!)

But as soon as I got out of the familiar suburbs of DC, passing through the Beltway to merge onto I-95 S, it disappeared. I felt lighter, giddy, exhilarated, yet calm.

Leaving is harder than going.

Observation #2: Social Capital Counter-Balances the Learning Curve

You may or may not have heard of the term social capital; basically it means that you have assets based on the relationships you cultivate, and what the people in your networks can help you achieve.

I realized as I passed Braddock Rd that eventually I would forget all those things I had learned, all that local knowledge I had built up, and that some of the relationships I had cultivated will dry up and drop off. The same thing happened after I left San Jose, after study abroad in Paris, after Istanbul. It’s natural, after all, to make new attachments and let go of the old.

Moving to a new place will involve new acquaintances, finding new businesses to frequent, learning local streets. The transition time will be a low in terms of social capital, but a high in terms of learning, something I’ve been missing a lot lately.

While I am learning, everything will be exciting!–new!–scary!– and thenย  as I settle in to a new routine in Portland, OR, things will become easier and relationships will start up again. Another wonderful learning cycle.

Do either of these ring true for you? Tell us in the comments whether you agree… or not!

9 Responses to The First Day

  1. Woot! Congrats on starting off!! How exciting :)

    #1 especially rings true for me. I’ve always felt that way: leaving school for home and home for school, my city for my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) city and back, moving from one city to the next. I think because I’ve never felt like I’ve put down roots (always knowing in the back of my mind I’d be moving again soon), #2 isn’t as big a thing for me. Though I can totally see how it could be.

    Happy (and safe!) travels!

    • Thanks, Erin! For me, it’s a case of balancing the acceptance of sadness at things passing away with the joy of finding something new to learn. Kind of a positive spin on having multiple personalities all vying for attention at once. :)

  2. Yes, and Yes!!! :)

    • Glad to know I hit a nerve… and I love that you stopped by! Thanks for following, Sarah ‘EBR’, and for opening your home- I had such a lovely visit!

  3. I am so super proud of you for doing this!! And for me both are a yes too. On the second one … it took me two and a half years to finally feel that in my new place I have some social capital … Good news for you, this is not the US :-) It will go quicker for you. And interestingly enough, because of this new social capital, I am actually on a much steeper learning curve than before. A different one though. Before it was getting to know myself better. Right now, it is getting myself out there more and get to do the projects I really want to do. Either way … You are awesome! Happy travels!!

    • Did you like how I linked to the Bank’s definition for social capital?? Haha. But tell me more- how do you mean, because of the social capital, you’re on a steeper learning curve? Like, because you have the contacts now, the next step is to go public, which is harder personally? And thanks for the vote of awesome, Rose. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Pingback: Smoky Dragon Way | Taste Life Twice

  5. Okay, so can you tell I’m behind in catching up with your posts and reading them backward?

    I didn’t realize you had so many gems sitting here already!

    This post got me though. I’m all misted up. Seriously.

  6. Oh, and I LOVE the sunglasses! ๐Ÿ˜€

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