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I’ve been staring at this blank screen for hours, wondering what to write. It’s Friday afternoon and I’m running out of time to write this. I’ve been coming back to it so many times for the past three weeks, but I always come up short.

Goodbye columns are usually so heartfelt, full of lessons learned, and emotional babbling. I’m not really good at that. I’m better at writing quotes from other people, writing the hard facts, writing news…

I’ve been celebrating so many bittersweet last moments this past month: my last city council meeting, my last county commission meeting, my last Eddy County Fair, my last day of work, the last time I’ll see my coworkers and friends – for awhile anyway.

You see, I was offered a newspaper reporter job in Canton, New York, about a month ago and I reveled at, not only the fantastic career opportunity, but the idea of uprooting my life and moving across the country. Since I won’t be able to attach a trailer to my itty-bitty Chevy Cobalt, I’m just taking what will fit inside of it, including my guitar, my Festivus pole (Seinfeld anyone?), a mannequin that was given to me as a birthday present, a welcome mat my mother gifted me that says “go away,” my television, and of course my Labrador puppy Steven.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking right now. “New York? You’re going to get so homesick. Won’t you miss your mother? Aren’t you scared you won’t make any friends? You might have to learn what snow tires are. What if you don’t like it up there? It’s going to get cold in New York, colder than you’re going to expect. Do you even own a winter coat?”

Not only have I confronted these questions externally from my previous high school teachers, work colleagues, and friends, I’ve been struggling with these questions internally.

Unfortunately, being female in this society means I will often be discouraged (intentionally and unintentionally) from pursuits of my own independence. Yes, there’s a chance I might fail, but I won’t know if I don’t try, right?

Naturally, I’m sad to go. I’m going to miss my creative, loving, hilarious mom. I’m going to miss the companionships I’ve developed with my friends – both old and new – as well as my coworkers.

I’ll end this column with a Latin lesson: crescit eundo excelsior. It means “it grows as it goes upward” and it just so happens to be New Mexico’s and New York’s state mottos together.

Look out New York; I’m coming for you.