I’ve unwillingly started to say my goodbyes. First there were a few people at work who were leaving for summer vacations, then there were friends who will be out of town in the coming weeks. It was weird at first, because truthfully I’m not leaving for about a month. But in between now and my flight to Dakar, I’m going to San Diego, seeing family, and doing a lot of packing. This weekend will be my last to spend time with the majority of my friends. I am sadly starting to realize there will be many people who I won’t even be able to see this weekend, and thus, I will not be able to say goodbye in person to them. It’s a strange feeling. But once you make a decision to say “goodbye, keep in touch,” it’s goodbye, and there is a neatness to that. I’ve tidied things up, but not quite. All my doctors have been seen, prescriptions obtained, bills and paperwork squared away. And yet I come home every day to the epicenter of the chaos: my small room, a crowded mess of possessions. Somehow the logjam of my material goods (what to keep? what to craigslist? where to put things?) has created more perceptible havoc than the very intricate world of friendships, arrangements, and goodbyes. I deeply appreciate the well-wishes and the space people are giving me to do what I need to do. In the end, I guess it comes down to actually packing the bags and shipping out.