An old acquaintance who was borderline annoying with his New-Agey outlook on life always told me to be careful what thoughts I put out into the universe because some higher power is always listening. I probably should’ve have put some more stock into his advice. A few columns ago, I mentioned that I knew I would eventually have to leave the town that I love. I just never realized it would happen so quickly.

I’m sprawled out on an inflatable mattress in the middle of my now barren apartment, awaiting the arrival of my very patient and tolerant mother to help me clean, then whisk me away to Raleigh, N.C., for one final night in the Carolinas before my one-way trip to Kansas City. It’s a very odd feeling in this empty shell of a space. Wednesday at 6:30 in the morning, this was still my life — everything I own was still in its place, collecting dust and looking purty. But by noon, after the movers, packers, and shakers had come and gone, it wasn’t my life anymore. All of a sudden, my life was on a moving truck, set to be arriving in Missouri a week from now, while I, alone and without the hollow security of my belongings, am left to once again second-guess myself over the decision. In my head, I hear David Byrne’s spastic voice shouting over and over again, “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife!”

Without a television to drown out my thoughts, I’ve had a lot of time to ponder the last five years of my life here in Chucktown. It’s truly been the most defining and formative years of my life. I’ve been hired, fired, and kicked when I was down. Then I had to pick myself up again, and I lived to tell the tale.

I’ve fallen in love, had my heart broken more times than I care to remember, found my creative voice, been my own bad influence, and have made the most amazing friends a gal could ever have. Oh, and I also learned I would be leading the charge to hell (see Letters to the editor in the Jan. 10 issue). That has got to be the greatest unintentional compliment ever.

Hey, I’d rather rule in hell than serve in heaven — I hear they have a better benefits package. Of course, maybe when John Allen of Summerville said I was going to hell, he was actually thinking of Kansas City, Mo. If so, then way to go with that foresight, Sylvia Browne!

A friend once told me that the dark thoughts expressed in my columns are like the pimple on someone’s upper lip. It’s there, we all know it, and though you try to cover it up with a concealer, it’s still there but everyone prefers to pretend it’s not. Yes, not the most glamorous analogy, but it struck a chord with me. I’ll happily continue pointing out my flaws, my mistakes, my fears, loves, and hates. I’ll point the finger at you, myself, and the rest of the community because, in the end, we’re all looking for the same thing. Which basically makes us the same. Whoa, I just got all Deepak Chopra on your ass. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Boo-yah!

So after emotional good-byes and one last sweep with the Swiffer, I’m off to infect an entirely new and larger city — apparently hell froze over and they have an opening.