The countdown begins

I officially put in my notice at work today.  I did things a bit backward when I announced my plans on the blog then told my boss, but I was dreading the talk so I avoided it like I do all unpleasant things.  It went as well as I could have hoped; I hit him with the news immediately then explained my reasons for leaving.  I had broken out into a sweat almost immediately upon entering the room but it really wasn’t as bad as I had built it up to be.

The bottom line was, despite my reasons, I am genuinely sad to leave such an intelligent, fun, and rare group of people.  A gathering like ours doesn’t happen often.  I’ve come to call every one of them a friend, blessed to have become very close to some, and have shared countless laughs and priceless moments.  I foresee frequent trips back to Ireland in the future.  This country and its people are truly one-of-a-kind.  It will always be my second home.

So now the countdown begins.  I have six weeks to tie up all my loose ends here.  I’m trying to not let myself get comfortable like I have with every other move.  I tell myself I have loads of time then am left scrambling in the 11th hour.  A part of me believes I can break this cycle but old habits certainly die hard, and in my case violently so.

Luckily I’ve been through this exact visa process before so once I get back to Baltimore I just have to go through the motions.  I’ve already figured out what I need to do for the Irish police background check and it’s a lot more straightforward than the one for Maryland.  I have the documents ready and just need to submit them to the local Garda station down the road at the beginning of July.

I’ve made a list of the things I need to do before the end of next month and am hoping to cross one off a week.  I haven’t accumulated nearly as much crap as I thought I would have over the past two years but the stuff I do have I am weirdly sentimental about.  I know my life will be so much simpler if I pare down my belongings to what can fit into two large suitcases.  But knowing and doing are two decidedly different beasts.

I spent the majority of yesterday cleaning and doing laundry.  J comes for a visit on Sunday so I wanted to make sure he doesn’t go running at first sight of the place.  I left a WhatsApp voice message for my best friend Molly back in Baltimore as I worked in the kitchen to help pass the time.  “That sounded like about 30 minutes worth of dishes,” she noted in her reply, laughing.  She knows me too well.

He’ll be here from Sunday through Wednesday morning and though we’re trying to keep the days unscheduled, I’m hoping to introduce him to a few of my friends on Sunday evening.  The gang at work has heard a fair bit about him and they’ve been enthusiastic about the meet and greet.  I’m sure everyone will get on great.  Sound bunch of lads all around.

The time will fly between now and my departure date so I’m hoping to follow through with my plan to do things differently.  Regardless of how I get there though, I have set off down the path that is leading me to Spain.  And like always, I’m sure I’ll make that journey, however dotted with dysfunction, completely my own.

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