Why do you go away? So that you can come back.

When I last posted here, I had an inkling that big changes were on the horizon. They were a possibility, an opportunity, a decision not yet made. But here we are, almost five weeks later and life looks so different. New state. New job (as of Monday). New apartment.

When I moved to New York, I wanted nothing more than to work in books. I was so fortunate that I got to do just that – I worked in the special sales department at a large independent book publisher for 3 years. It was amazing. I had the best coworkers anyone could ask for and I’m sad to leave them.

When I left Virginia and then North Carolina I had a feeling it wouldn’t be for forever. I missed my family and being a short drive away. There were things about New York that I could never get used to. When Michael got a job offer back in our home state, we just couldn’t let the opportunity go. Now, I can drive to see all of my sisters in one afternoon, something that felt impossible before. I’m halfway between my mom and my dad again, which is a good place to be.

I’m going to miss NY – the food, the movement, not needing a car. Don’t get me wrong, I love to drive, but I tried to figure out how I could take a train from Virginia to NY at 4AM without having to ask anyone to wake up super early to drive me and there was no way. I’ll miss being able to get off the subway and feel like I’m in a totally different city, a different version of New York. Mostly I’m going to miss the people. All of us, most of us, from all over the country, all over the world, who turned up there for one reason or another.

But I’m excited about all the things I missed about Virginia and DC. Beautiful, technicolor springs. Snow days. (I walked to work in a lot of snowstorms this year.) Quick errands. The ability to travel so many places in one day. I can get to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, or Raleigh in 5 hours or less. Free museums. People, from all over the world, who have traveled to make this their home, making it an interesting and vibrant place. New York and DC have that in common.

And I’m excited for a completely new direction in my career. I will miss publishing, but I’ll always have something of a link to it through my blog. I’m determined to stay up-to-date with publishing news and new releases. But I just accepted a job at a nonprofit and I’m excited to be back in that world, too. It feels like the exact right decision.

I’ve missed writing about books and talking to you and now that things have settled and things are almost in order, I plan on being around here a lot more with renewed enthusiasm.

The title of this post is from Terry Pratchett’s A Hat Full of Sky. I haven’t read it, so I hope I’m not taking this quote completely out of context, but it felt very appropriate for how I’ve been feeling about returning to Virginia, about leaving NY, about switching careers. The full quote is: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Life is full of choices that change the course of where we’re going and you never know how one or the other is going to affect things in the long term. I’m so looking forward to finding out, though.

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30 thoughts on “Why do you go away? So that you can come back.

  1. Congratulations on the new home and the new job! It sounds like a great situation all around, especially since you’re so close to your family again, though I’ll miss you the next time I make it to NYC.

    1. Hopefully we’ll still be able to connect in NYC! I’m planning on going for BEA this year, but without having to work 🙂

    1. Thank you!! I am happy. It’s a lot of change, which can sometimes absolutely be overwhelming, but the overall feeling is positive.

  2. That quote is wonderful and so perfect, and I’m really excited for all the wonderful changes in store for you. And we’re TOTALLY getting together when you’re settled . . . can’t believe you’re so close now. Perhaps even for cupcakes! 🙂

  3. Oh Lu, you’re just exuding joy…and oh how happy that makes me!!! Honestly, I really couldn’t be more thrilled for you, starting a new chapter in your story in a place that holds so much for you.
    I am sad, because I always dreamed of coming to NYC and meeting you one day, but heck, we hit that neck of the woods more often than we do NYC anyway. I’m sure you’re busy, busy, busy, but when you’re truly settled in, I’d love it if you could email me your new address.
    Best of luck with everything, dear Lu!!!

    1. I’m sad we didn’t get to meet in NYC, too, but hopefully in DC or northern VA??? Just let me know when you are in town! I’ll be sure to send you my new address.

  4. I love this post and knowing more about what’s shaking with you. And I love the Hat Full of Sky quote (it’s on my TBR). It sounds like the perfect choice for the things you’re going through right now. So much good on the horizon!

    1. Definitely a breath of fresh air! Now I just can’t wait for the apartment to be organized and feel like we’re home. Thank you for the luck!

  5. Many many congrats on the changes! You could be telling my own story, if you substitute “Louisiana” for the home state. Being near my sisters has been wonderful; having a car and being able to do fast errands has been great. I do miss the subways, and my coworkers, and I miss seeing plays tremendously. But I’m glad I made the change, and I hope you are too!

    1. I was wondering if you were still in NYC and if I had missed a chance to see you while I was there, but you have moved on too. Isn’t it great to go home? There are definitely things I’ll miss, but overall I feel good about everything.

    1. Yes! We’ll have to find a way to meet up sometime. Maybe in Fredericksburg? There are so many great independent book shops there.

  6. Oh, congrats, Lu! All the best to you in this new chapter. What is the mission of the non-profit you will be working for?

    I love that Pratchett quite because it reminds me a lot of Indian culture. In my parents’ language(s), you never say bye – you just say, “shall I go and come again?” And the response is, “yes, go and come again.”

    1. The nonprofit has a chapter in most states, but they work with utility companies to ensure that everyone is following safety laws and promote awareness about safety to homeowners and builders/excavators. It’s definitely a totally different world, but I like that.

      I love that! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. I can empathize somewhat with you at least as far as a new job. A few years ago, I left the newspaper industry (a mix of by choice and not) and I haven’t missed it. I’m glad you’re able to make a move, both to a new state and a new job, and hope it works out for you as well as mine has worked out for me.

  8. You’re back in DC? Awesome! It is a wonderful area. I resisted moving here for a long time but I’ve grown to love it. Drop me a note if you like and we can make plans to meet up sometime!

    1. Yes! I know what you mean… it was kind of the one place where I just wasn’t sure I ever wanted to return to, but now that I’m here, I’m happy with it. I’d love to meet up! We’ll have to plan something soon.

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