I’m sitting here, it’s approximately 9pm. I’m somewhere in the Southern California High Desert, typing and drinking coffee at my in-laws dining room table. I will be here in bat country for another week before I head out to Japan.
Yesterday was my last full day in my hometown of Long Beach.
I spent most of it wandering around my old neighborhood. I walked by my old Elementary School. I walked by my Middle School. I walked all the streets I used to bike and skateboard with when I was a young barbarian.
I have been far from home before. I have been in the Navy for 7 years, deployed, lived in Chicago. But, this is the first time that I will be in a foreign country for several years. It feels different, more permanent. Also, there is no guarantee that I will be stationed in Southern California after.
I think my age adds to my melancholy. I’m leaving at thirty two, most of my friends are around the same age and in a transition. Most of them recently married, had children, settled into careers. Everybody is exiting their adventurous twenties and settling into their steady lives.
I feel like I will miss some of that being over there.
I enjoyed seeing all the old places I used to trash around. I also liked seeing some of the old shops and streets improved from what I remember. I hope that my old neighborhood improves and new generations enjoy living there like my brothers and I did.
I’m excited to spend the next several years in Japan with my amazing wife. I know we will make some amazing memories and that the experience will shape our outlook for the rest of our lives.
Yet I do feel sad about leaving my old Southern California life behind. I know that if I return it will never be the same. I can’t stop thinking about Frodo and Samwise returning to the Shire.
Ok, enough thinking about the past. Tomorrow I start preparing for Japan and hopefully finishing a new short story. Now its time to finish some Narnia.