A farewell to the familiar

You may have noticed that it’s been awhile since I’ve last blogged. That’s not the norm for me, and I hate to get out of the habit because blogging is often the only way I can get all of my thoughts and emotions and opinions out CLEARLY (as possible, anyway.)

And this month has been challenging for me, so I need to write. It’s just hard to. Tomorrow I’m moving to Idaho–not just a trip or a pro-longed stay–but a for real “I’m a real adult now?” kind of step. That includes house buying and career changes and the whole nine yards. In less than 24 hours I’ll be packing my Washington life into a 16-foot space and giving my last hugs before trucking 14 hours across the state, leaving behind co-workers, friends, and family that I love, the ocean that’s part of my soul, the Cascades, the Evergreens, my childhood house and our starter apartment, the very things that just sing to my spirit and created ME.

at the ocean

Why am I doing this? I’ve asked myself this probably 800 times since the decision was made. I look around my room and procrastinate packing and I cried as I wrote out my “Farewell!” e-mail to my work district. Why am I doing this?

But in my heart I know why. It’s because God has called me to.

Matt has job opportunities he wouldn’t get here as easily, we found a house that we can actually afford and have a family in, we prayed and saw the Idaho plains as the place our children will play and our lives will grow. But it hurts–oh, does it hurt.

grandma

And isn’t that the truth of it all? All of us, at some points in our lives, follow a path that just doesn’t make sense to our logical minds or to our broken hearts. But yet we go on, we step forward, we carry a torch of memories with us and forge ahead to create new ones. We say goodbye to those who started out with us and soon meet the people who will fill in the middle and eventually the end. We hold on to those who undoubtedly are rooted in our lives and find ways to keep them actively in it. We make decisions that absolutely suck in the moments and sob as we drive away.

kissing nephew

I’m so grateful for Washington. I’m grateful that this is the place where I played barefoot in the soft grass from morning ’til the dinner bell–and even after that, to catch frogs in the dark. I’m grateful that I went throughout my school years here and met the teachers who urged me to write and create. I’m thankful that I have memories of my dad playing with us in the sprinkler, his work pants rolled up to his knees–and memories of saying goodbye to him not even ten miles away from that same spot. I’m thankful that I watched my mom sacrifice for us and that we had a place to laugh and cry with her and become women like her. I’m thankful that this is the place where my sister followed me around all summer with a saggy diaper, taking my hand and becoming my best friend through the years.

raining

This is the place where I visited on breaks from college, watched sunsets with lemonade, gazed at stars from my back on a dewy backyard trampoline, learned from missionaries, got my heart broken, visited with a new husband and created our first home, worked for the news like I’d dreamed of, changed my mind about dreams and created new goals then changed my mind again. I’m grateful for the woods and the lakes and the smell of rain and the shorelines that touched my toes and filled my soul with sunshine and salt water for years upon years. It became part of me.

Scan 132950058

It hurts to leave it behind, even with excitement of the new adventure to come. It isn’t easy leaving a place that has become comfortable or leaving the people who are simply the fabric of your existence. But we all do it. Change comes, and we rework ourselves and rediscover ourselves and meet new faces and new experiences and new ways of living. That’s how our lives become beautiful. Life isn’t in any way sedentary, rather it’s a bizarre and lovely metamorphosis of change.

I once read a blog post (I can’t remember where I read it, darn it) from a man who was talking about his son and daughter-in-law moving across the country. He had a unique perspective that really made me think. He said that he was proud that his son was taking the family name to a place his family had never lived. That he took that last name and brought it across the country to inspire people and love people and make an impression that would really change those he encountered. He said his own father had traveled, making his own mark upon lives, and that he had also done the same. Now his son will continue to dot the map. How cool is that?

zoo time

I hope to do the same. I look forward to taking the roots of Washington and my family name and legacy to the places I live and touch and the lives I encounter. We all literally dot the map–even in ways we’ll never be aware of. That’s why change is necessary. That’s why the hurt and discomfort is worth it.

So farewell for now, Evergreen state. I will visit you again soon.

Now I’m off to dot the map with footprints of sand and ocean air and pieces of beautiful home.

sandy

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