Though I would never take it upon myself to put a cat in a bag, according to the saying, the cat is now out of the bag. The only people who remained in the dark about my plans to leave NYC were my co-workers. And now, as of last Friday, even they know.
Since I spend most of my time with people at work, my secret was not easy to keep. I’ve known for months that I would be leaving. Regardless, I’ve had to act as if nothing major was going on in my life. Starting a blog, receiving an acceptance letter, learning Dutch, applying for a Fulbright – all topics were off limits. There I was, finally feeling lighter and happier, with no explanation to offer.
The fact that I stink at keeping secrets certainly wasn’t helpful. I would say I was tempted to break down and come clean at least once a day. Someone could mention something as irrelevant as a clogged sink, which would make me think of wearing clogs, which would make me think of Dutch attire, which would make me want to reveal to said person that I am moving to Amsterdam. And as people discussed varying plans to apply for grad school or desires to move away from the city, I just had to keep my mouth shut. And I’ll admit, a few times I actually opened my mouth and fixed it to say “Amsterdam.” But I would stop myself before letting it out. Well, usually.
I let a few people in on the secret. I had to. These are people who would have known something was up just because they know what’s going on in other areas of my life. So creating a big blank space in the story would have been impossible. These friends were also charged with keeping the secret. And although I’m sure it wasn’t on the tip of anyone else’s tongue in the way it was mine, I know keeping this quiet couldn’t have always been easy.
The breaking of the news must have been a relief for my secret-keeping friends. It was the freeing of a duct-taped mouth for me. I could breath, speak, and smile openly. And I could finally explain, receiving tons of questions and enjoying the excitement of sharing the answers.
So I officially have begun to introduce my (soon to be) former life to my new life. And it’s a wonderful feeling.