You know how when you get a new PC at work, you crawl down under the darkness of the desk, blow away several years of dust, and start unplugging? The USB mouse-keyboard (green to green, blue to blue) and the baby speaker plugs—all those little ones come out with almost no effort. Thick monitor plugs are harder, requiring a screwdriver sometimes, and a good, hard yank. Sometimes you cut yourself or bump your head. Before you started, everything was working just fine. With every tug and connection lost, you wonder if those loose wires will find their right place in your new configuration. So-called “upgrades” imply the new is better than the old, but it’s never completely true. It’s just different, with some old problems solved, and some old, beloved things gone, never to be replaced. Along with some new things that you know you’ll grow to love, maybe very soon.
I sang my last gig (for now!) with my amazing band. I’ll soon have coffee for the last time with my Saturday morning running group (they run; I hike). I’ll have my good-bye cake at work and a good-bye party with school friends. I’ve thrown away my mattress, found homes for the cats, sold the bikes and cars, given away the power tools that I built my daughter’s playhouse with. I have tenants for my house, a storage place for my stuff, a PO box. My house is a mountain of boxes and bubble wrap, and my daughter and I weave our way through the piles, laughing at old pictures unearthed or lost keys found. I’ll soon lock the front door for the last time on the home that was the haven for my daughter’s childhood, the nest I made for her.
Tonight, though, I look up at the moon and wonder if it will ever again be quite as bright over Silicon Valley as it is tonight. I’d like to take it with me.