I cried tonight.
I didn't expect to. I was surprised when I did.
Tonight was a going away dance for me, hosted courtesy of Kathryn McDonald, at her practica at Dance Underground.
Quite a few people came. So many people that I was happy to see!
Greg Constantino DJed, and I loved it. The evening flowed nicely, and it was so lovely to be able to just dance, and not worry at all about what was going on or needed to be done.
I've never had a birthday dance or anything of the kind before, but tonight they insisted on a going away birthday-dance-style song for me. Greg played Jem's "Missing You", and then, to cries of "Opa! Opa!", he followed it with Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".
I was touched, really, by both choices.
And I was touched by all the people who danced with me during the two songs. I felt...loved. And I felt so much love for all of them. And for this community that I've been a part of for so long now.
I was so touched, in fact, that I made a short speech after the second. I did not plan to talk. I don't even know any more what I said - just that it was from my heart.
I am sad.
Seattle has been long and hard and beautiful and wonderful and horrible and terrible and lovely. So many things. I've been here for 1/3 of this life, now, that I have been living...and here...now...I am walking away. From everyone. From tango. From friends. From people who feel now like family. From everything.
What am I doing?
After the dancing was done, the music was done, Kathryn came over and hugged me and said goodbye, and I could not help crying.
Ah...without endings, there could be no beginning.
I wish I could have the beginning without this end.
Thank you, Seattle.
Thank you everyone who came tonight.
Thank you to a community that I have sometimes struggled with, but which has also given me much love, and in which I have felt myself at home.
I will miss you.