Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life in Boxes

When it came to moving this summer, I just couldn't get my brain there. I mean, we WERE moving, but looking at houses, searching for jobs, even doing "lasts" here in Cleveland were the last thing on my mental checklist. Right after we decided on Florida, Emily and Jillian came to visit, then two weeks later I went to Florida, then a week later Carson's parents came and he graduated... and THEN I knew I would be able to focus on the task at hand.

But now that I'm mentally "there", this is a weird time.

I took the pictures off the walls the other afternoon and didn't cry, but felt like it, which honestly for me was a really big step. "It's now! We're moving now! This is it!" my brain said, making me sadder with each piece of yellow duct tape I tore.

Lots of people take the pictures down last because it feels like home right up to that moment, but I honestly wanted that. When we moved from Spokane, I didn't get emotional at all about it. I wouldn't let myself, so in a lot of ways transitioning to life in a new place was that much more difficult for me.

For years, it's been difficult to be vulnerable and open with my emotions. Even when alone, it's hard to sit there and cry without mentally reminding myself to "suck it up". One of many things I've learned in the past couple of years is that grief and pain and sadness are not bad. Dwelling on one's problems isn't a great way to cope with things, but neither is pretending that everything's great.

Our community group and church here has been such a blessing to me in this area. Having to be honest with my struggles has been a struggle in itself, but also a great point of growth in my life. I've learned that I haven't regretted letting people in when I was going through a hard time. It would have been really easy to talk about something that sounded good, instead of opening up and telling my friends what was really going on, but I'm thankful that I did. Before, I've put things I've thought about in writing only, as I'm not really a verbal processor, but my small group has seen me stumble through saying a lot of nothing to say what I mean. It's been good. The notebooks and random Word documents I used to confide in have nothing on real live people.

So honestly, as I sit here with dozens of piles of stuff to pack and dozens of taped boxes surrounding me, I'm going to admit that I'm sad to lose what I have here. I'm sad that the life I'm putting into boxes won't be the exact same life I live in Florida. Oh, I'll get over that. I'll meet people and hopefully have a great community there, but I'm sad to come to the end of this one. I'm sad that no matter how many times I visit, I won't be doing life with the same people I've been around. I'm sad that instead of people knowing me and sort of knowing what I'm NOT saying, I'll have to start all over with new people.

The truth is that we've done it before. When we unpacked our boxes in Cleveland, we thought that there was no way in the world we'd have anything close to what we had during four years in Spokane. In our almost-two years in Cleveland, it's true... we don't have what we had in Spokane. We had Cleveland. And I realize that sounds all kinds of cheesy. But it's a good reminder and something to look forward to.

We aren't going to have the same life we have here when we move. It might seem better, or it might seem worse, but it's got its own set of experiences. It's what makes life interesting, and it's a reason to be thankful for the seasons we've gone through and the chapters that have come before and are to come.

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