I’m leaving. It’s not you, it’s me. And it’s an issue of blood. A while back, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Learning this and coming to understand what it means, I suddenly began to feel a long, long way from home.
Which is a curious thing since you, and that wonderfully mixed up place you call Romania in particular, feel more like home to me than my homeland. Sure, I was born in the States, but that often feels inconsequential to what I have become with you, here.
Building up the Community Foundation and TechSoup in Romania, turning them over to some wonderful new leaders and seeing where ReStart has gone, working with the Aspen young leaders the EFC and teaching… becoming a godfather and all those friends. The things we have learned together could fill a book. Two if I let myself ramble through the joke filled nights, speckled in various languages and doused in libations of, frequently, questionable origin (oh, your uncle made it? Guess I have to try it then…). The pig fat and hours spent staring out of windows and thinking as trains rolled through your landscapes and all the challenges and victories we’ve known in this beautiful, sometimes schizophrenic place.
I may write that book someday. I’m curious if I could capture what we did together. Who would find it interesting. Who would smile and who get angry. It’s probably too personal. Our journey. Or too boring to talk about learning what community really means to me. Or how I have come to believe in processes more than endings since endings seem to morph so easily into something else the closer you get to where you thought you were going, leaving you with the people who chose to take that journey with you and the ways in which you lean on each other feeling real.
I will miss you. All of you who have become a part of my family, adopting me along the way. I have no illusions. We will drift apart. It’s how these things work. But as we do I know I will take what you have taught me, and who you have made me, and it will shape how I see the world and the decisions I make. I hope I pop up in your stories and decisions some times as well. That would be nice.
Bah. Enough with the sentiment. I’m moving. Not dying. It’s sad but I’m excited too. So be in touch, huh? Drop in and see me in San Francisco. I hear they go to bed early there. We can show them how it’s done.
And, for my part… well, you can take the Ginger out of Transilvania but you can’t take Transilvania out of the Ginger? Probably true. Beyond the love and learning I would guess there are some residual palinka-scars which I will carry with me for years to come.
So. I’ll stop by. We can give each other a hug, pretend not to notice the lines and laugh about how interesting time continues to make us. Until next time… keep on being awesome and more.
PS – because this is what it was all about.