And I did cry a lot the first couple of days (and I cry ugly, sad to say). In the time since, that pain has not faded but sublimated somewhat. It's in the background as the Farewell Tour rolls on. I've felt all the feelings connecting with family and friends in my old hometown. I've hugged and cried and laughed and flirted (can't help myself).
I've said goodbye or until next time more times than I care to count. Each time it pulls heartstrings. I've shared excitement and I've somehow even inspired. Loved ones give me gifts and priceless encouragement, all the while impressing me far more with what they do day to day than this little sojourn I'm taking should warrant. They face difficulties daily: sick spouses, challenged (and challenging) children, pain and sadness and world weariness. Cancer. Still they put one foot in front of the other because they must. Loved ones depend on them.
What am I doing? Downsizing a little?
So I carry less baggage, but so much love. I carry my Mentor, the most worldly man I met who succumbed to cancer before using his passport. For my dear friend who drove hours up and back to see me for a couple of days, I carry her dreams of wanderlust--the first to tell me "you have to do this for all of us who can't. And we get to read about it." I carry all those who half-joke "I wish I could run away with you!"
Sometimes we all want to run away.
I was asked how I got to this place. I said it's easy: first, divorce your wife and realize you suck at future predicting. Then spend your nights a) with your sexy a.f. Girl, or b) in deep introspection about how you got here, where you went wrong, and where you went right. Then be grateful for aforementioned Girl and the path that led you to her.
Then give her an ultimatum she rejects.
Then decide to make yourself your somebody to love.
Then leave behind your job, the people you love, and everything you know to pursue a dream with no guarantee of financial success and decide so fucking what because it's the journey that matters and even if you don't make a damned penny from it so long as you are true to Your Self.
Then accept the tears and saudade. Accept that, despite giving all of yourself, sometimes you still won't win even against inferior competition and that it's the trying that matters.
Just do that. Easy.