If I had a dollar for every time I'd heard that in the past couple of months, we wouldn't have to worry about jobs any time soon. Although a friend on Sunday put it as well as I've heard anyone do: "It isn't really real to me that you are leaving."
It isn't real to me, either. I've planned this, hoped for it and dreamed about it for years, but the knowledge that it shall come to pass in less than two weeks is giving me some trouble. Even packing up our stuff and sending more things to Goodwill hasn't done it for me. Cleaning out my desk at work today didn't really inscribe "reality" on my brain as expected. I'm beginning to think that I'll have to have all the boxes unpacked and be sitting at my desk with a stack of books in our new apartment before the reality that an era has indeed ended for us will set in.
Although, I did come a touch closer to it just a few minutes ago: I looked up driving directions from here to there online just for my own entertainment. The map directs us around the loop and down Highway 84 toward Post; I've done that trip dozens of times as an aim student, with Bible bowl, and most recently on our marathon trips to Austin. But while looking at the map just now and wondering about the best places to stop, I suddenly realised: We aren't coming back up that road.
Oh, we might come for a visit or two; perhaps a wedding or an aim event will bring us this way again. But we'll be visitors, not residents returning home. Never again will I see the lights of Lubbock ahead of me and think delightedly of my own bed awaiting me there.
Highway 84 won't be the road home for me any longer; it will be the first stage of the journey back.
These little bits of reality make the next 11 days seem very short indeed. I can't believe it, either.