We are moving incredibly soon, and I am experiencing a classic case of what is commonly referred to as “mixed emotions”. I am thrilled, anxious, relieved, content, curious, sorrowful, stressed, confused and hopeful. We have a good life here in this sleepy college town. I have always enjoyed being a student, and working at a university has allowed me to capture that spirit again. I love the energy of a learning environment. The world of academia stimulates my introspective nature and inspires me–especially now, at the end of this chapter, when I am filled with nostalgia. It couldn’t last forever. Maybe I will get another degree someday, but maybe not. Now it is time to move on. The extent to which I love being a student is the extent to which my husband loves working. He is thankful to be closing the door on his time as a student, and he is so ready to work again. He thrives when he is being productive in a practical way–not the more theorectical productivity of student tasks. We are opposites in many ways, and I suppose this is one of them. I am grateful that this is the case, as I think it makes us a stronger team. We balance each other out. My emotional responses soften his logical perspective, and he brings me back to earth.
For someone who enjoys variety and thrives on adventure, I sure do cherish the comforts of my routine. Right now I’m thinking about the big things that will be hard when we move to a new city in a few days, like saying goodbye to the beloved friends that make up our community here. But I’m also contemplating the small details that I will have to give up and replace with new ones. Taco Tuesday after water aerobics. Stumbling to the kitchen each morning to open the blinds on the distant sunrise. My ocassional trips to favorite hiding spots on campus to pray and reflect on life. Talking about babies and careers and relationships at Thursday lunches with my small group ladies. These little comforts are like my grown up security blanket. They make me feel safe, relaxed and in control (though, clearly, I’m not). My security blanket will soon be gone, and for awhile, I will tiptoe around gingerly in my new environment. I will feel that constant shakiness inside that always comes with unfamiliar territory.
Months from now I will have discovered new favorite comforts. Bryan and I will be settling into our great new jobs. We’ll be close enough to my family to meet up for dinner on a week night. We will enjoy the stimulating accouterments of a beautiful city. I have so many reasons to look forward to the next few months. It feels like the right move for us, no doubt. It’s just tempting to wish that I could fast forward the tearful hugs and new house noises and traffic confusion and small talk with strangers and learning of new rules. Perhaps any uncertainty brings back too many painful memories of my quarterlife crisis. But honestly, what I’m most happily awaiting is that moment when I realize that, gradually, I have found my new normal. New comforts. New friendships.
God is good, and my present thankfulness is twofold. First, I am thankful to be sad as we prepare to leave. It means that we have learned and grown and developed genuine friendships during our time here. This is where we got to know each other in so many ways. It’s where we started our life together as husband and wife. It will always be a special place to us. Also, I am thankful for where we’re headed. We have been so blessed with new professional opportunities and a wonderful city to explore that happens to put us closer to my sweet family. What more could we ask for? Thank you, Lord.
I never imagined when I graduated college and moved away, that I would be back here someday. Looking back on my second stint in Abilene, I must say that I love it even more now. Here are a few favorites from our time in Big Sky Country. Abilene, it’s been real. To quote Phil Collins, “You’ll be in my heart…always.”