1. Pack your life into a suitcase. Technically you could bring two suitcases, though I recommend a suitcase and then a duffle for your books and shoes. Less to carry. I know packing is hard enough when you’re going to be gone for a week, but packing to start a new life is totally different. Try starting with the items you know you can’t live with out. And bring enough underwear to make it through the apocalypse. Play eenie meenie miney moe with your shoes. Apologize profusely to all the of the sentimental clothing items you have to leave behind. If you’re going to bring heavy things, bring books not a hair dryer. If you have extra weight in your suitcase, bring more books. If you have even a tiny bit of space in your carry-on, squeeze in another book. Bring photographs of all the people you love. Build a time machine, go back in time and take more pictures of the people you love, and even a few of the people you don’t (because who knows, you might end up missing them later). Realize there will be things you will forget and wish you had. Take a deep breath and remove half of the items you’ve packed (except for the books). Now remove another half. Now a third. Squeeze in your favorite sunflower picture frame with that photo of you and your sister. Add another book. Ok your out of time, too late for anything else.
2. Say goodbye. Well first you should announce that you’re leaving. Then say goodbye shortly after that. Give everyone your time. Yes, there are a lot of things you need to get done. You’re stressed out, and you want a moment to process, but forget about that and give yourself time for goodbyes. Expect it to be hard because your life is good, your friends are amazing, your family is wonderful. Accept that you won’t have as much time as you want. Understand that you’ll never be able to leave quietly without anyone noticing. Realize that it’s better to feel unsettled about all the doors left open than to feel closure but find yourself locked in an empty room. Be ok with things left unsaid. Let everyone hug you as much as they want. Let them cry. Let yourself cry. As hard as it is, let yourself feel the emotions of the people around you. Feel the goodbyes from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Let the ache remind you of how good life can be.
3. Breathe for a moment. When your cuddled up on the couch with your ex-roommate, and your friends are doing yet another Harry Potter character quiz, sit back for a moment and breathe. When your driving down your street towards your house, look at every tree and breathe. Stop for a moment to play your favorite song on the ukulele while your friend eats a grapefruit and breathe. Take an extra minute to run your hands over the dusty surfaces of your room. As you breathe memorize the details of every shelf and window pane. Take time in the morning to squeeze into bed with your little sister. When spending your last night at a pub with your friends, sit back for a moment. Listen to them talk and laugh. Breathe in that moment. Feel their happiness. Inhale and realize the fullness of your life and lungs. And when you spend your last morning exhaling the city and trying to find the right words to say remember what it feels like to be there. Freeze those moments. Collect them in your mind and reenter them whenever you feel lonely. Let every breath be a door to unfinished moments. When you’re flying away on the airplane and you’re so full of everything, run away to the bathroom and let yourself breathe and cry and not know why your crying. Realize that sometimes your breaths spill out of your eyes for no reason at all. Breathe as you leave, and also breathe as you arrive.
4. Say hello. Newness has arrived. It’s what you’ve been searching for. There will be a part of you that doesn’t want to leave the airport, but remember that this is everything you’ve always said you wanted. So want it. Say hello to your dream, and understand that dreams never look exactly the same in the daylight as they did at night. The smells will be eager to meet you and so will all the new sounds so stick out your hand and introduce yourself. Say hello to the sunrise that looks different than any other you’ve seen. Say hello to all the new dust specks floating around in the rays of sun. Say hello to the moon again and let him know of your new home so he can send his moon beams to the right place. Say hello to all the beautiful eyes that are wanting to help and let them help. Say hello to this scary, beautiful new place, and choose to let it be a home. Let it say hello back. Let it overwhelm you and shock you. Let it comfort and amaze you. Say hello and wait with expectation for this brand new adventure to say hello back.