A week ago today Gingko and I were eating a very fine breakfast at Patty's Eggnest in Seattle. We weren't talking much because we were saying goodbye and feeling sad about it.
I had driven her up there because she had been offered a job in Bellevue (a Seattle suburb), and she had two weeks before it was to start! We were so excited about this job--at ArenaNet, the company that created Guild Wars--but quickly realized that two weeks didn't offer much time to pack, travel, and find a place to live. Panic!!!
Luckily our friend Andrea had a little studio we could perch in while hunting for housing, so once we settled in there the search was on. We really thought it would be easy! Delusion. The Craigslist shared housing postings were numerous but elusive: "ready now" ended up meaning "call me back next week," "I'll meet you there at 8:30" meant "Oh, I didn't think that was firm." One place had dog crap in the middle of the living room.... We were pretty worn out and depressed when we found a nice apartment being offered at below-market rates for low-income people (which describes Gingko's first job*)--still keeping fingers crossed on that one! Meanwhile, Gingko remains at Andrea's and suffers through a 2-hour each way commute via bus...
The drive home felt long and sad, which surprised me. I've never been the mom who felt bereft when her child went to school or camp, but this time it truly felt like Gingko was truly starting her adult life. And I was starting a new chapter in my life as well.
Suzuki Roshi said Buddhism could be described in these words: "Not always so." Change is the nature of the game. By the time I pulled into the driveway, 16 hours later, I had come to terms with the empty nest in front of me, still a nest and not empty by any means. Ready for whatever comes next.
*Gingko wants me to note that this is not her first job! It's her first FULL-TIME job in the field she has chosen.