Monday, July 2, 2012


One of the most helpful things I've learned during my time here in Mississippi is how to "leave" properly. The speaker commented that "If you don't leave well, you can't enter well," and I believe it! She gave us (borrowed from a book, but I don't know which one, so can't cite it!) a technique for "Leaving Right" called RAFT.

R: Reconciliation - "Don't take old drama with you to the new place. Just because you're moving, doesn't mean the situation will go away or be forgotten. Make every attempt to reconcile with anyone who you may have issues or bitterness with." Thankfully, I've been blessed with a terrific group of friends and family, so this step should be quite easy.

A: Affirmation - "Take time and make an effort to affirm the people who have meant a lot to you or made a difference in your life. You want to leave on a good note with people and to make sure they know how special they are to you." I feel like my list of people to 'affirm' is never-ending, which is amazing, and I plan to use the next three weeks before I leave to thank people for being a part of my life!

F: Farewells - "Who do I need to say good-bye to and how do I need to do it? Make a list of people, places, pets, and possessions to bid farewell. Remember, once you move, you no longer live in America. You live in your country and you visit America." (Holy cow! I don't know if that's quite sunk in yet!) Thankfully, before arriving here, I had already started thinking about this, so it wasn't too difficult. In addition to people to say good-bye to, I also have an ridiculously long list of restaurants to say good-bye to! (Luckily, Asians equate overweightness to lots of money... they're going to think I'm loaded!) On my list are: Chipotle, Chick-fil-a, Cheddars, Plaza, and Sopranos. On Friday, a group of us went out to Chipotle before the baseball game to say our farewells. How fitting that this sign was on the door:

Quite appropriate. It may have been an ad for July 4th, but still....
T: Think and Talk - "Think ahead about what life is going to be like. Try to have realistic expectations. Talk to family and friends about your move and what you are expecting. [Aka: Help them understand that you are moving to a city, not an undiscovered jungle.] Make it real so that when it happens, there are as few surprises as possible." I feel like I've been doing a pretty good job of this all along (although certain friends still think I'll be living in a treehouse and hunting cheetahs for dinner...)! Tonight my Malaysia team has a meeting with the President of the organization to talk about our new school, so hopefully after that I'll have LOTS of answers about what all my life will look like!

So, I'd say I'm doing a pretty good job at "leaving"... It's going to be hard, but I do think this will help. If you're on my farewell list, make sure you contact me asap so I can get you on my schedule! It's filling up quick and I want to make sure I have time to see you!!


  1. 1) I expect a long and heart-felt "R" card from you. I still have some things we need to work through--oversized Tweety t-shirts with spandex, to name one.
    2) I also expect a long and heart-felt "A" card :)
    3) Can we talk about how your lady wanted you guys to think about really touching farewells to PEOPLE and you start listing RESTAURANTS?
    4) You're really going to be hunting leopards?!

  2. hahahahaha Molly's so funny. I also found it funny that you started listing restaurants you're going to miss, and in the first paragraph of the last entry you listed all the food you ate. FAT-TY.

    I liked this post, though. Makes me feel as if I left well. Thanks.

  3. Is Paisley on your farewell list?