"There's a trick to the 'graceful exit.' It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over -- and let it go. It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out."
-- Ellen Goodman
I remember when I loved living in Las Vegas, when I honestly couldn't dream of living anywhere else. I think back to my one year of exile and the number of hours I spent during that year dreaming of my return to the place I considered home, Las Vegas.
I try and pinpoint the exact moment when I knew my love affair with Vegas ended, but it's hard. I see no single event, no single point in my past, when I woke and decided I no longer wanted to be in Vegas. Perhaps my discontent started when I stopped dealing and started babysitting every night. Perhaps it was more recent. Maybe the urge to move started to grow when the large corporation took over and the culture started to change. Maybe it really was as simple as visiting the islands I left nearly twenty years ago and have always wanted to return to.
In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter when I first thought of leaving Vegas. I knew when I moved here that it was inevitable I would leave. When we rolled into the valley nearly ten years ago, with no plans and seemingly no future, The Wife and I made one vow to each other - that no matter what we ended up doing, we would only do it until it stopped being fun.
I stopped having fun in Vegas a while ago. Vegas changed, or maybe it really didn't. Maybe it was us that changed, that grew tired of what Vegas is and has to offer. Either way, I have to say it's been a great run.
Vegas brought The Wife and I closer together. We've never been happier, or had as much fun, as when we were basically homeless and didn't know what we were going to do to survive.
Vegas made me more human. I wouldn't go so far as to say I actually like people, but I tolerate people a lot more than I used to. I've even learned, for the most part, to deal with the severity of my Type-A asshole side and refrain from freaking out when things don't go the "right" way - read that as "the way I would do it" or "the way I think it should go."
"The trick of retiring well may be the trick of living well. It's hard to recognize that life isn't a holding action, but a process. It's hard to learn that we don't leave the best parts of ourselves behind, back in the dugout or the office. We own what we learned back there. The experiences and the growth are grafted onto our lives. And when we exit, we can take ourselves along -- quite gracefully."
-- Ellen Goodman
I'm lucky, blessed even, that I get to exit on my terms. Vegas has been good to us, but it's time to let it go. We'll make our exit and move on to our next adventure. To twist some famous words, "Goodbye, and good luck."
This is definitely the final post I'll make here. Similarly, the Twitter account I set up over 4 years ago - @pkrdlr - is pretty much defunct at this point as well. Of course, I'm not dropping out completely - though I admit I harbor some thoughts of a reclusive life somewhere along the lines of Las Palmas or other quasi-remote coastal city, but I digress.
I have a new Twitter account, @LahainaHaole and a new blog with the same name. I hope that part of my new adventure includes a lot more writing than I currently manage. Maybe I'll even get the first post for the new blog written in the next few days. I'm still trying to come to grips with being unemployed ;)