No Return Ticket

Prior to this past Friday, every time I came to San Francisco, there was a ticket back to Boston with my name on it - reserved in advance with either Jetblue or Virgin. Even in March, when I "officially" moved out here, there was a planned trip back to pack, clean, and of course, yoga binge at BBY. For those that know the whole sordid story, this move has been in the works for almost a year. I have been slowly ripping off this band-aid for roughly 40 weeks.

It's off now.

On Monday, I watched my car and belongings set off to make the long trip out to meet us in California. I scrubbed the house, touched up paint, and locked up our condo in Brookline for the last time. I made it through the final few days with only one large-scale breakdown in the empty house and a minor breakdown in pigeon during Hip Hop on Tuesday night (it's always pigeon!). Luckily, it was so sweaty in the room that even I barely noticed.

On Wednesday, I left Boston to present for work for several days in LA on my way to finally getting to San Francisco. This is the universe teaching me patience once again. A sweet coworker who I was presenting with said to me in the gate area as we waited for our plane, "Am I intruding on this personal, emotional moment for you?" The answer was yes, but having him there with me prevented what might have been a sea of tears on the jetway. There was a lot of deep breathing as we took off and I looked wistfully down at the last bits of Massachusetts that I would see for a while.

I allowed myself a few melodramatic ipod songs (think Ingrid Michaelson and some mournful old school Indigo Girls) and then I had to get to work. So much for the long good-bye - nothing like 8 hours of presentations to snap me out of my wallowing.

I finally landed in San Francisco at 4.05pm on Friday (exactly to the minute on time - irony), and stepped out into California sunshine for the first time without a return ticket. I promptly sent this email to my husband:

Oh sh*t. I live here.

You can feel so much if you let yourself. And as my feet hit the ground I was excited and sad and confident and completely lost all at once. It was one of those moments where you stop for a second and realize you are using Ujjayi breath without even being aware of it. Yoga reflex. After rushing home to get the keys to our new place, I promptly fell asleep mid-sentence at 8pm.

I'm getting comfortable with the fact that it is going to take some time to settle in here. Our belongings arrive on Wednesday, which will be a huge step in the right direction.

Partly out of exhaustion, and partly for tradition, I decided to take the day off today, like I have every year for 6 years. It's Patriot's Day. And while it means very little to those here in San Francisco, it will always be special to me. The voices on Beacon Street, my Sox playing at Fenway, the crowds and everything that is wonderful about Boston. I love the discipline and beauty of Marathon Day, the collective cheering for strangers in a quest to do something great. It's a sense of community and participation and a city that is alive.

So I did the next best thing today: I went to yoga. And then I had a really great cup of coffee and a vegan scone that was out of this world. And I pondered the marathon that I've been running for a year. It's nice to finally see the finish line so that I can get to the start line of our next great adventure.

And I reminded myself that return tickets are really just made up. Live in the present and return trips take care of themselves.