I'm sitting in an airport in Taipei now with Daniel. This is our second layover of two. Our first was in San Francisco where my dear friend Elsa picked us up and drove us across the Golden Gate bridge for some dinner and one last chance at gelato.

One long week turned into one long travel day and, well, now I'm sitting in an airport in Taipei, smelling like a person should never smell, feeling like a person should never feel, and dozing off like a person should never doze off.

My life is spread across the Earth now. More than it ever has been. In a week and a half I have crossed almost every time zone and right now my body isn't sure if it's 5:00 AM on a Monday, or noon on my 42nd birthday.

And now I'm just waiting for my final flight before the next adventure really begins. I'm tired. And wondering whether my guitar, which China Air forced me to check in San Francisco despite being in a soft case, is still in one piece. I'm feeling bad that I was a little rude to the people who made me check it. I'm feeling achy and so full of so many different emotions from saying goodbye to so many different people all at once. So many different emotions all at once, in fact, that I'm stuck with a feeling that I've never really had before and one that I don't really know how to describe.


It feels like I'm stuck in a dream right now, too. Not a bad dream. Not a good one, necessarily, either. Just a dream. And I guess it feels that way because every moment that is passing right now seems so significant that it feels fuzzy, and eternal, and instantaneous, and unreal, all at the same time. And I'm wondering whether I'll remember these moments the same way I usually remember dreams. In bits and pieces that don't always make sense but still make me feel emotions when I think about them.

That's how the last 7 days already feel.

Lunch with a friend. Quick trips to the post office. Laughing with Bob and Cathie. Yard work. Eating Oreos with friends who are more like family. Visiting old stomping grounds. Laying awake trying to remember what I've forgotten to do. Tea at midnight amid good stories. Dozens of decisions. Some of those decisions, probably mistakes that will have to be sorted out later when I regain the capacity to sort them out.

And then, suddenly, Salt Lake City bid me farewell through the hugs of the dozens of people I love so much that it hurts to think about not seeing them for a year. Or, for however long.

The same thing happened just a few weeks ago when I left Ukraine.

And I hope that the hugs of dozens of people I'll undoubtedly grow to love just the same await me on the other end of this impending five hour flight. And maybe a year from now I'll be holding back tears the same way I have over the past week when I say goodbye to those people and head off to start some new adventure.

That's the problem with moving around. No matter where you are, you always miss somebody. Or something. Or somewhere. And you can never have them all together, all at once. Which leaves you feeling that you can never have it all together, all at once. So instead you're left feeling a range of sometimes conflicting emotions, all at once. Which, in turn, is never good in helping you feel like you have it all together.

I would play some sappy song right now. But my guitar is currently buried under a pile of Hello Kitty suitcases.

~It Just Gets Stranger