I was happy, then. I felt good about this adventure. And, soon, I started to make Cyprus my home. I obtained a “Yellow Slip” permanent residency. I became friends with people and a friend to others. In a word: I was home.
But “home” means stuff. Over the past four years, I have accumulated a quite impressive collection of things, aided by no small means by the global pancake which meant spending most of my time indoors, thus necessitating making said indoors as nice as possible.
My decision to leave comes suddenly. I have six days to dissolve most of my household, give things away, donate things, and sell a few items. This means parting with parts I have grown more than fond of. My favorite morning coffee mug, my even more favorite Cold Brew setup, and the three dozen or so plants that line every free surface in my room.
My tea collection won’t come with me, and neither will my cooking setup, both sources of pride. In a sense, I’ll become Jack Reacher, walking the land with a few dollars and a toothbrush. Everything else goes away.
Over those four years, I lived through the pandemic. I watched, without connecting the dots, my health decline. I chalked it up to getting older. But, alas, it was work itself, not age, that made me sick and sicker every day.
Things came to a heed this week. There’s no benefit in rehashing those events, but I knew then and there that if I did not get out as quickly as I could, I’d be paying a price that I was neither willing nor able to pay.
And with every item, every memory, every creature comfort piece given away, I am paying another price, an investment into a future that won’t hurt me as much.
V will come down from her apartment in a few minutes. We’ll watch a movie, eat ice cream, do what we used to do for years now. Only it will be the last time tonight. Tomorrow she shuffles off for the Easter Holidays to Crete, her home, and I’ll finish packing and giving away things. When I return in June to hand over the apartment, I’ll come back to a colder, emptier, place. And maybe that’s a good thing, I don’t know if I could leave otherwise.