Excitement, panic, impatience, sorrow…

As it turns out, leaving isn’t quite as carefree as it was 13 years ago.

Now that I’ve decided to leave, New York seems alive to me again – its streets filled with character and characters that I’ll miss when I’m gone. I’m more like a tourist now, trying to suck it all in during the few weeks I have left. Like most people, I guess, I’m most engaged with my surroundings when I’m just visiting.

I spend my days organizing the dissolution of my nine-year New York life, deciding what stays (books, bank account) and what goes (bookshelves, bed). I cancel accounts and subscriptions. I notice all the “lasts” – my last order from Fresh Direct, my last rent check. I make coffee in the morning, and wonder who’ll get my coffeemaker. I get dressed, and wonder if I should donate these pants or store them for when – when? – I came back.

In short, I keep freaking myself out. The only thing that calms me down is planning my travels: How long to stay in Moscow? How to hook up with fellow travelers in Mongolia? Where to go in the vastness that is China?

I guess what I’m really saying is, this ain’t as easy as it looks.