Oh, the places you’ll go. Without me.

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
-Dr. Seuss

Now that Hilly has had a chance to tell you herself, it’s OK for me to talk about it here.

Hilly hasn’t been here for the last week just visiting.  She’s been checking out the area to decide if it’s a good place for her to move.  And, as luck would have it, she’s decided it is.

Hilly is moving to Florida.  In the next month.

She’s leaving her friends and her family and her life in California, and settling across the country in a brand new place.

Sound familiar?

Yeah.  I’m resisting the urge constantly to chime in with the Internet’s absolute loudest and most obnoxious OH MY GOD ME TOO I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL!

It’s a funny thing to watch someone you care about embark on a journey that’s so familiar to you.  I want to loan her my road map and travel guide and explain the handwritten notes in the margins.  Thanksgiving will be hard.  It’s natural to be homesick.  Don’t be afraid to be afraid.

I want to point out the pit stops and make sure she notices the best parts and takes in the best sights.  Try new things.  Enjoy the beach.  Relax, you’ll make friends.

But I can’t.

Because as much as I recognize myself in her, as much as I can see parts of my story in hers, it’s not my journey.  It’s not my life.  It’s not my story to write.

But it’s hard sometimes to sit on the sidelines and cheer without offering advice or direction.  I want to make the way easier for her, but the way is different.  And even if it wasn’t, it’s hers.  And as much as I had to come here to build my life, I know that she has to do the same.

That we all do, really.

We have to, at some point, let go of the me too’s and the I know exactly how you feel’s and accept the fact that we have to do this on our own.  We can’t build our stories as appendages to someone else’s.  We can’t learn anything or create anything that is truly ours if we don’t have the space to try and fall and get back up and do it all on our own.

By our rules.

On our path.

We can’t discover treasures of our own if someone is constantly pointing everything out to us.  And there is a certain thrill in the discovery, a thrill that I don’t want to rob her of by trying to make things easier.

It’s kind of like parenting, I think.

As much as I want to make the road easier for my kids, I know that I have to stand back and watch them build their own history and make their own mistakes so that they too can revel, someday, in the victory of accomplishment.

But it’s hard – this standing back.  With kids.  With friends.  With little brothers and sisters who are going through life’s stages just a few years and steps behind you.  I want so badly for them to know the freedom on the other end, the enlightenment and the pride and the comfort and the confidence.

The things that can only really be gotten by going through it, and not by skipping to the end.

So I remind myself that she, too, is a grown woman.  I remind myself that she has lived a lifetime that is not mine.  That she is getting divorced – and that there is no amount of “I understand” in the world that could be true or genuine, no matter how well intended, because I don’t.

And I have faith that she – and they, Devin and Emma and Jay and Creed and Jono and Lindsay – will figure it out.  Like I did.

On their own.

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

-Dr. Seuss

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  1. Who knew you were so prophetic?

    Inneresting. I actually learned something from you in this post.

  2. Fantastagirl says:

    But to have friends like you to be there – when Thanksgiving is hard, when Christmas sucks … that’s a great thing!

  3. Alice says:

    Ok, this is going to sound odd and is TOTALLY off topic BUT… I was in Kissisimmee a couple of weeks ago. We headed to Cocoa for the day to see the launch, which was of course CANCELLED. Boo. Anyhoo, I could SWEAR that I saw you… or someone that looked like you… on the beach. Do you ever go to Cocoa, or am I going nuts??? It was at the main pier andI think it was a Friday. And no, I’m not a psycho stalker nutjob. I would have said somehting THERE, but thought that you wouldTINK I was a psycho stalker nutjob. Rather, I was just visiting the area to take my kiddies to Disney adn the beach…

  4. Alice says:

    Oh, and yes I CAN spell?! Ha ha. They need spell check on these comment thingamabobs…

  5. Mr Lady says:

    Listening to understand, not to reply. It’s a difficult thing to do.

  6. avitable says:

    It’s nice knowing we’ll be here to help when she needs it.

  7. Selma says:

    It’s exciting and daunting to move away from the place you call home. It is something Hilly has to go through in her own way, but it must be comforting for her to have you and Adam for support. I wish you well, Hilly!

  8. Faiqa says:

    Oh, my neighbor’s friend’s brother’s girlfriend has this house next door that’s for rent … :)

  9. you are clearly a better friend than i am. i am all “do it THIS way!” hehe

    i’m so happy for hilly. and for orlando since that town is getting another highlight!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @hello haha narf, you have the most distorted sense of self I have ever seen in a GOOD person (meaning, BAD people always have fucked up perceptions of themselves. LOL)

      I never see you be all “do it THIS way”. In fact, that’s why I call you. Because you are the one person I always know without a doubt can hear me without having their own agenda in the way.

      So. Um. When are you coming back to see me by the way?

  10. Sybil Law says:

    It’s so hard to not want to help and hold their hands, but at some point, you have to let go.
    Yay, Hilly!
    I need to move to Florida. :)

  11. Poppy says:

    It’s so hard not to tell people you know exactly what they’re going through and then even harder to not throw oodles of advice and Wisdom at them. :)

  12. NYCWD says:

    Adventure. Heh.

    Excitement. Hmph.

    A Jedi craves not these things.

    For crazy humans who seem to excel at them, those things are. Herh herh herh.

  13. Finn says:

    It is SO hard not just grab those we love by the hand and walk them through all the crap you’ve lived so you can tell them about all you’ve learned. But you are right on… that’s no way to learn.

    Everyone has to find their own way; the best we can do is offer them a soft place to fall. And a cocktail when necessary.

  14. Those Dr. Seuss quotes are really fitting! I like it!

  15. Donna says:

    Wow- I can relate to those feelings all too well. But Hilly is going to have something special when she gets there which is an awesome support system! That’s all that we can ask for when we make those moves! I know from all too recent experience moving from Louisiana to California. I’m more thankful for those who say they aren’t going to put themselves in my shoes but will offer support when I need to talk because it’s an adjustment period.

  16. Great post. I am in Hilly’s shoes to a certain extent and, believe me, your support and advice are much appreciated.

  17. Hilly says:

    “Yes, she *does* like vertical blinds.”

    Seriously, it is nice to have you guys throwing advice at me right and left because, like I said, I can take the things that I never thought of then leave the rest. Luckily, I have that zen “smile and nod” thing down pat. Also? It’s going to be great to have a support system…more than you know.

  18. Sarah says:

    I’m a little jealous at all the fun you guys are going to have.

    But I’m more excited that this seems like it will be really good for Miss Hilly.

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