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On Leaving


Night lights of New Jersey as seen from a plane taking off from Newark airport.

As we watch a place get smaller from a window of a plane, or a train, a car, we leave our old selves behind. For no matter the reason and however long — a year to study abroad, a week or two exploring cities we haven’t been, whether it’s for work, family or friends — we come back a different person.

We do not know this as we watch the distance increase between what we left behind and where we are going in the beautiful, cotton candy clouds seen from the plane window, or the farmlands whizzing by a super highway. But something different, when we come back, as the same scenes will have a different meaning.

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