I’m not very good at saying goodbye.
I think it’s because I really hate doing it. But because life is what it is, I find myself having to say my goodbyes sooner rather than later.
I’ve lived in this area for 24 (almost 25) years of my life. It’s the devil I know. You need to talk to someone about something? I know a guy. Want to know where something is? I probably know.
But even the girl who loved her stomping grounds enough to stay here for college and her first year out gets restless.
Restless for what?
Well, that’s a little bit harder to pinpoint. I’d say it was a combination of things that led me to look outside my little bubble.
Bigger opportunities, a new community, the chance to maybe even start over—in a way.
At almost 25, I felt like it was time for me to move forward. To move on from the life I knew and take a chance on some things.
SO I APPLIED for a job in Lawrence and to my surprise, I got it. I start in December.
That brings us back to now. By the time most of you read this, I will have three days left here at The Mercury and only a week left in Manhattan.
It’s really sudden, but I don’t really do things in much of a leisurely fashion.
I’ve spent the past week packing my life into cardboard boxes. Moving does a number on your nerves, or maybe it just does a lot on MY nerves.
Pulling out items to donate and some to throw away. Taping things up to be placed in a trailer and pulled away from the life I’ve always known.
It’s all exciting and terrifying at the same time.
While packing on Wednesday, I kept telling myself not to pack my car keys into a box because they were next to some things I was placing away.
You have to remind yourself not to put away shoes you might wear, or a plate to use once the rest are packed.
IT COMPLETELY pulls your world into another dimension. It throws you off, but you know the end game will be worth it.
I’m excited to move but I’m also scared out of my mind. The last time I moved away at 18, I was barely treading water and was so freaked out by the experience that I moved back home after a year.
I have resolved to myself that this will be different. I mean, it has to be because I’m a totally different person now.
Honestly, though, I am sort of worried about how in the hell I’m going to meet people when I work from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. But knowing myself, I’ll figure it out –one way or another.
I’m going to miss Manhattan.
I don’t know many who don’t after living here for an extended period of time. I’ll miss the community, the college, the friends I’ve made, the landmarks I’ve visited and, most of all, the knowledge I’ve gained about this place.
It will always be a part of me and I’d like to think I’ll always be a part of it, too.
I guess I have a few ‘Thank-yous’ to hand out as well.
I want to thank all the people who have helped me along the way. My professors, my colleagues. All of you are the reason I’m here and the reason I’m moving forward in my career.
YOU GAVE ME the skills and knowledge I needed to make this possible.
To my friends in the newsroom: We are one, big, dysfunctional family. I wish I could box you up and take you with me.
Because…trust me: If I could, I would.
My family still lives in Junction City, so I know I’ll be back, but I don’t know when.
When my best friend Heather moved away from Manhattan to start graduate school at Baylor two years ago, she told me that she wasn’t telling me goodbye, that it was more like a see you later. It wasn’t as permanent.
I guess that’s what I’m saying to you, Manhattan.
Thank you for your generosity, your people, your spirit and your love. I’m not saying goodbye.
So…see ya later.
—Maura Wery is lifestyle editor of The Mercury. She has told close friends that she really wants to watch some bad college football up close.