The season of "the lasts" has begun in earnest.
I first noticed it in mid May, around the time of my birthday. The day after my birthday was a Saturday, and a free one at that. As the usual school tiredness had turned into a full-blown exhaustion by then, I decided to hide at home, not to go to church and not to meet up with anyone that day. But as it happened, my auntie sent me a message in the morning, saying that she would drive by and pick me up after church and that we would go to seaside after lunch. My initial reaction was to say no, let's skip it, I'm simply too tired. But then I realised it might be one of the last times I could hang out with her like this, and to the seaside we went. The day after that, my dad came to Tallinn for our traditional birthday dinner and I had, of course, picked my favourite Old Town restaurant for the occasion. And we celebrated my personal New Year in a place where we had done it for three or four years (I think we missed one Covid year) and it was slightly bittersweet to know that we most likely will not sit in that restaurant next spring any more.
The school year with its "lasts" is finally ending, and I have even written my official resignation letter. The last classes were sweet. There was some hugging and some chocolate and a few teary eyes as we said our goodbyes. And yesterday, as we had our year-end teachers' meeting, T., who is the head of the grammar and lit teachers' department, came to me and said that she considers my leaving a great loss to the Estonian eduacational system haha. It was very kind and a tad dramatic, coming from such a seasoned and award-winning teacher as her.
This past Saturday I preached my last sermon in Tallinn Central. Again, everyone was very sweet and very sad. :)
The emotions about those "lasts" and these goodbyes are complex but the main feeling, as of now, is relief. I am SO ready to turn a new page, I am so ready to reinvent myself (I think that's what always happens when one moves countries - and if not the reinventing itself, at least the possibility of it), I am so ready to start writing a new chapter of and with my life. And what I also like is the way one systematically reviews every aspect of one's life before such a big move. Like, I've started to sort my books a bit, and to clean my drawers, and to throw out (nay, to take to a second-hand shop) all my old winter coats. And there is something freeing, something exhilirating about this. You open up all the drawers of your life and you sort and pack and chuck out and organise and make room for the new... and we probably don't do it often enough. So as much as I have hated moving and packing in the past (some real childhood traumas here), this time it feels like bringing new light and new air to all the stuffy corners of my little life.
Just yesterday I was cleaning a drawer and found a whole stack of papers from my infamous and failed attempt at a PhD degree in Amsterdam Free University. I had lecture notes and articles there from 2015. Why have I kept that rubbish there for so long? From 2015?
And this evening I have been sitting on my bedroom floor, going trough a box of books. In between the books there were some old postcards and letter. There was one from S., written a couple of months after mom's death. There was a Christmas card from L. that arrived just a couple of days after mom's passing. Even these corners of life get a bit more airy when you sit and reminisce and think about the sheer goodness of people you have had and you have now. No, we don't do this kind of opening and closing and remembering nearly enough.
I'm planning to go to Tartu this Friday. There are some cafes that I still need to sit and read a book in. Some streets that I still need to walk down, remembering the years lived in Tartu, and remembering my dearest A. Some moments that I need to take to say goodbye to my favourite town in the world. And then - let the new come!
But here are some moments from my birthday weekend:
|The 5th graders wrote me a whole birthday book!|
|My aunt's creation|
|I know what you're thinking. But no, they were from my little brother. :P|