Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Packing is the hangover without going to the awesome party..

I think this title captures my sentiments towards packing. I absolutely loathe packing. I have never been good at it, and I never will be because it sucks. I always try to be that person that is packed well in advanced with every shirt and pair of pants tucked nicely away. I obviously was delusional that this would ever work out because here I am now, a day before I have to go to orientation in Philly still not fully packed.

I believe this is the essence of me.

When it comes to leaving, I can't say I'm good at any of it. I hate saying bye, I usually forget something, I leave important things till the last minute and I'm usually grouchy and irritable. Up until a couple days ago I had no explanation for my erratic behavior, I didn't even realize the extent of how airy of person I tend to be when it comes to leaving. I recently missed a trip to DC to visit one of my closest friends. I put off buying my train ticket and mistakenly made appointments and dates with people during the time I said I would be in DC. I missed her phone calls and text messages due to my forgetfulness with my cellular device. I guess it is safe to say that I'm not a person that can balance to many things at once. This said friend is back in California and I probably won't see her until we visit each other in our respected countries (she will be living in Morocco for a year doing research on a Fulbright Fellowship). So to sum up my feelings, I feel like a really bad friend. (I'm dreadfully sorry Armaan, I love you sooooooo much)

Amy Poheler wrote an article about her "aha moment" and the value in saying goodbye. She, like I, always gets anxious and frustrated when major changes are thrown her way. "Instead of facing changes, I always wanted to skip over them", Amy said. She recalls a book she read five years ago, When Things Fall Apart by the Buddhist monk Pema Chodron who explains that the only thing in life we can really count on is change. Chodron reflects on change in saying that to be fully alive is to be repeatedly "thrown out of the nest"; if we really experience the end of something, that thing will never actually end. Amy Poheler sums up her article with saying that good memories and relationships will always stay with you. I know Amy Poheler, to my dismay, doesn't know me but I really believe I was meant to read this article. On my last evening in the states as I am preparing to be thrown out of the nest, I plan to savor all my good memories and relationships that I have made not only over these last couple of weeks but over the past years while in Woodbury and Charleston.

So as I enthrall myself back into the dizzying experience of trying to fit my whole life into two suit cases I won't be upset or angry, but happy that I am taking the time out to have those sobering goodbye conversations. And to those who I wasn't afforded the time to say farewell....I guess it really isn't goodbye at all but rather, I will see you soon.
Much love,


  1. Oh Ally! I absolutely loved this post... for a variety of reasons:

    1. You cited the article that you mentioned to me earlier this summer. (Now, I MUST read it!)

    2. You're one of the first of our friends to take the next step "out of the nest" and into CHANGE! Thank you for doing that! You're not only going to make a huge impact on the people of Benin, but also on your friends and loved ones because of this CHANGE. I think the word I'm looking for is courage... and I totes high five you for that! :)

    3. and YES! you're right... it's only an "I will see you soon" moment. Soon, being two years... but in the grand scheme of life two years schmu years! Just think of all the fab stories that we can catch up with over a cup of coffee after you return!

    Love you Alsters! oh and btw, have you checked to see if you can Absentee vote in 2012 all the way from Africa? That's kind of important snookums! HAHAHAHA Love you bunches! Adios pooks and GOOD LUCK! :)

    Will see you soon ;)

  2. the thing about packing is that you actually don't need half the things you think you do. as i travel, I become more and more of a minimalist. and think of all the awesome stuff you are going to buy in Benin!

    Good luck and have a safe trip!

  3. I hate saying goodbye. I hardly ever do. I avoid it. Because Nothing is permanent. You're just off on another thing you need to do. Just another step. Life is always going to happen, so why say good bye! Love you, Ally!