As of right now, not including today, I have 18 days left in Buffalo. I remember the days when I was sitting in a back-to-back class where it felt like I had 18 years left in Buffalo and that it would never end. But now, 18 days.
I’m not necessarily sad about leaving the physical place that is Buffalo. I get the whole revitalization piece, and the Bills are like, okay…but what I’ll miss most about it is the people. I have met so many incredible people over the last two years, in completely unexpected ways. I have also strengthened some already existing friendships over the past two years, and that has also been incredible.
So in the words of one of my good friends…TO FRIENDSHIP!
But, as we all know, as one door closes, another door opens. And even though I may not know what that other door is, I know that another opportunity will be waiting for me. But in the meantime, I wanted to make sure I learned to be at peace with Buffalo, specifically, leaving Buffalo and ending another life chapter. So, here are my words of wisdom for this awfully tricky time.
- Make peace with the past and right your wrongs
- This is probably the toughest one on this list, which is why I started with it. It’s also the most important. When I left my job before coming to Buffalo, I really couldn’t wait to leave. It wasn’t necessarily the people or the town or the place or any one thing in particular. It’s just that, I wasn’t at peace with my situation. And rather than try to make peace with it, I just up and left. And looking back, I think it would’ve been nice to have that comfort in officially closing that chapter 100%.
- Make a Bucket List, and do it
- I’ve thought about starting a Buffalo Bucket List before today, but never went through with it – I had thought I had done all the Buffalo things I wanted to do. But then I’ve been seeing all these “Buffalo Checklists” on Facebook, and I have a few friends who are desperately trying to convince me to stay in Buffalo…and even though I have no intention of staying, I might as well make the most of it while I’m here and enjoy the time I have left.
- Reflect on time spent
- I spent two years out of my life in Buffalo! Not only that, but it’s where I did my graduate work, and where I had a really amazing start in diversity education work. I will never forget these two years. But it’d also be easy for me to kind of just move on to the next thing and say, “Yeah, two years in Buffalo for grad school,” and that’s it. When the reality is, I learned so much here and met so many great people.
- Say goodbye
- Maybe this one is obvious…but I think it goes back to making peace with the place you are leaving. With the chapter you are closing. Make sure to take the time to thank all the people who have been influential during your time there.
- Plan a return trip
- It’s hard to leave all these people that I love and care about. For me, it’s always been easier to leave if I already had plans to come back. Fortunately, I am working to help plan a conference that will be happening in Buffalo in October, so I will definitely be back for that. But even if you never want to go back to the place ever again, plan a trip with the people from that place, the friends you’ve made, so you know when you’ll be seeing them again.
And just remember, even if the next chapter isn’t in sight, you are the author of your own life.