Issue 2  / Fall 2018 



I once watched a boyfriend take nearly a month to get in his car and drive away on a move across the country. The departure date kept getting pushed back as he ran out of time to find boxes, and organize his stuff, and appropriately say goodbye to everyone, and wrap up at work, and do the one last thing he may never get to do again after leaving.


Each time a new departure date would draw near the delay in plans would go unspoken, until it became too obvious to ignore.


“So it looks like you’re not gonna be ready to leave tomorrow, huh?”


“Uh, yeah, no. I think I need to push it back.”


“No need to rush it, you’ve got all the time. You’re going to work remotely, so you don’t have any pressing deadlines except what you give yourself.”


“Right. Yeah, I just want it to feel good, and it doesn’t feel right to go just yet.”


“Definitely go when it feels right.”


With the luxury of time available to him, getting to a feeling of “right” became an emotional process that required three weeks of concerted effort to come to fruition. Three weeks to build up the kinetic energy required to take that first step out the door, and first press down on the gas pedal. To make the first of many cuts that will inevitably fray the deep familial binds of the only world he had known in his 30+ years on earth.


I have never needed such a process. Leaving is the quickest part of moving for me. I am well versed at it. My binds are already frayed, scattered throughout years and states and grade schools. I can pack a bag in 20 minutes for a 14-day trip and not sweat the stuff forgotten, and once moved an entire apartment from New Jersey to Connecticut by myself via U-Haul in a single day, after making the decision to move two days previous. Leaving always marked the start of an adventure and, later in life, a relief from grinding through the tough parts.


While WAiF’s first issue, CHOICE, showed us the empowering fortitude of choosing to migrate, the collection of essays, prose, and poetry in our second issue, LEAVING, lays bare the inherent vulnerability of following through with that decision. For my then-boyfriend, leaving was an unfamiliar, emotional river to forge in a journey to embrace deeper change in his life. For me, leaving is a familiar necessity used at times as a coping mechanism after a lifetime of constant change, a way to shut off (for a moment) the rivers of emotion I otherwise face when staying put.


The process of leaving reveals the humbling reality that we are at the mercy of ourselves—our traumas, our fears, our insecurities. It is a categorical point of change that, like all points of change, acts as a mirror reflecting back who we are, when what we want to see is who we are trying to become.


Perhaps leaving is the first step toward bringing the two ends of that reflection closer together.

Adele Barbato, Founding Editor



by Leah Mueller

From Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., currently in Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.

by Yvonne

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., currently in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

by Kimberly Nicole

From Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., currently in Hong Kong, China

by Frances Guerin

From Adelaide, Australia, currently in Paris, France

by Christine Simokaitis

From Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., currently in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

by CJ Giroux

From Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., currently in Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.A.

by Jim Landwehr

From St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., currently in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Design: Adele Barbato

Photo Editors: Adele Barbato & Stacey Solie

Cover Photo: Amine Rock Hoovr