One of my best friends' family moved out of their home last week, to a new town. Growing up, they lived down the street from my house; and the memories I save in the "hometown" file of my heart consist almost as much of scenes in her house as in my family's. Her sweet mom had brilliantly decorated their kitchen in a combination of old Americana, apple-related trinkets and somehow, always the smell of something sweet and soothing baking. We spent so very much time in that kitchen. Usually munching on something warm and sweet and cookie-related; always giggling about some newfound analysis of our always-dramatic teenaged lives (boys included - er, favored) and always finding new snapshots of how God was continuously molding us. Thinking of time in that kitchen literally lifts my heart. What sweet memories those were!
Neither Meghann or I have lived on that street for quite a while. We both went off to college in new towns and have now both relocated to different states. I know, though, that her family moving out of the house was difficult for her. It was weird when my family moved off the street a few years ago, too. But Meg made a small comment on my facebook wall this week and referenced something I have been trying to mold into my heart for quite a while now - the truth of seasons.
Moving out to Arizona has been amazing. Aaron and I are starting to really deepen some very cool relationships, and we are so enjoying getting to know an entirely new terrain. Our camping trip last weekend was just another Arizona-related AHA! moment for us - we live in such a COOL place! There's so much to see! So much that is different from anywhere near where we grew up! So many fun little trips to take! So many cool restaurants to sample... so many beautiful sunsets to watch from our patio. We even started golf lessons last week...so many fun new things to try!
But at the same time, living so far from home and having to adjust so harshly and quickly to something so new has been trying. Being homesick for family and comfortable memories is still a very real part of almost every day for me.
And here's what makes it the hardest: I am a chronic sum-upper. I have conditioned myself so fully to have a 'live for today' mentality that I've gone way too far; I tend to view 'today' as, well, IT. I unconsciously conclude, almost daily, that now that college is over and I am apparently 'in' real life, what I'm doing now is what I've decided to do. This will be it. Forever. If I don't write in my journal today, I am not a journaler. (Because if I didn't do it today, a "regular" day, when will I?) If I didn't get a job at a magazine out of college, that ship has sailed. If we live in Arizona, we live in Arizona. Period.
Seriously, the dichotomy between how irrational that line of thinking is and how often I think it is kind of alarming. (But amusingly so, if you happen to be familiar with my particular brand of charming psychosis.)
But thinking about Meg's family home and hearing her heart timidly break over the memories there reminded me of God's promise of seasons. Everything has one. Living on that street had its season for Meg and I. And living here in Arizona is one for Aaron and I. Both the fun of it and the homesickness of it will end at some point. Getting up every morning at the exact same time and driving the exact same commute will look completely different one day. And while I truly am enjoying our time here, it softens my heart so much to remember that the difficult parts of it are not meant to last. The oppresive sunshine won't always be there. (Seriously, won't someone PLEASE give us some curtains??) The suffocating heat that is now starting to be an everyday thing (110 degrees today!) will not be a part of my life at some point in the future. (Speaking of that, I need to seriously up my water intake...)
And it sounds crazy, but realizing those things have made it so much easier to just take a deep sigh and enjoy it while I'm here. It's not stealing my life. I'm not going to be "that sister" in my family that moved away and never came back. It's not 'driving a permanent wedge' between us and those we're far from. It's a fun adventure for a while. It's the place we found our adorable puppy. It's our first real jobs. It's my introduction to human resources, which, despite the exhaustion of the 'people-pleasing' theology, I am thinking more and more every day is something I seriously love. It's a state with some AMAZING scenery, and some pretty cool proximity to OTHER amazing scenery (something else Ohio can't really boast of...) It's our first year of marriage! It's a beautiful place...a part of our life. A great part. But not the only part.
I'm so grateful that our stories will never be, could never be, and never are as boring as I tend to conclude they will be.
P.S. - naming this blog "For Now" was something truly inspired by my attempt to teach my heart this seasons concept...little behind the scenes for you...
Now. Hey. On a somewhat related note, I want to take this opportunity to continue my beration of two of my other best friends, Amy and Ashley, to move out here. Seriously, do it. Now. It's just for a season, see? Come on out here, we will have an amazing couple of years, save some money, see some cool things, have a fantastic adventure, and go back home. Yes? Yes. Start packing.