On a goodbye to Tampa (or 11 days to Step One)

Thank you for the growth.
I’m sorry for leaving without a proper goodbye.
I love you for opening up to me.
Forgive me for underestimating you.


Thank you for the growth.

I arrived a weightlifter and left a grappler. I made my second Tampa home at CrossFit Gaspar as a coach. I remember the afternoon sessions there, sweating alone with the garage doors open and the big fans moving air in the tall space. Then, I decided to become a beginner again and joined Marcio Cruz Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Rolling with the strong newbie no-stripe reminds me how little I knew back then and how much I have learned.

I’ve grown into my physical practice, my emotional growth, and a vision for the future because of our time together.

I’m sorry for leaving without a proper goodbye.

Time passes all too quickly and too slowly. I never made it to a First Friday, MOSI, or those Ybor City turkey legs. I don’t know how to properly say goodbye to a place. I doubt I ever will.

Do I sit in quiet contemplation surrounded by an empty apartment? Do I meet up with loved ones and exchange the necessary goodbyes? Or do I accept small gifts of love, like the cutting of a desert rose, and give some in return, like our potted garden of green babies?

Small bits of closure that add up to something more than the sum. 

I love you for opening up to me.

I’ve forged so many connections in my two years with you.

Friends in strange places, like a float spa and tattoo shop.
Buddies in sweaty places, like a box next to a fried chicken drive-thru and an academy in pajamas.
Peers in non-academic places, like on a slackline by campus or dancing at a music festival. 

I’ve explored Thai yoga massage, Buddhist temples with delicious noodles, and freediving in hidden springs. You have given me so much and my love is all that I have to give in return.

Forgive me for underestimating you.

I remember saying Florida with a certain stank, an air of superiority because I’m from New Hampshire. Yes, there are weird and wacky parts of you. No, I do not judge you too harshly for them.

I appreciate you and our time together. I’ll return. A winter or spring break visit sounds great. 

We will meet again, in some form or another, and I look forward to that.

at last and too soon,
Eugene



… Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver


Long Form Sundays

On Death Podcast

4 thoughts on “On a goodbye to Tampa (or 11 days to Step One)

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