Home Sweet Home
I knew moving would be hard. I knew there would be an adjustment period. I braced myself for the difficulties of establishing new routines. I prepared myself for the growing pains. I even got comfortable with the idea of loneliness. I knew I would stumble, I knew I'd fall flat on my face a couple times, hell, I even knew I'd get homesick and question it all, but I still wanted to go. I had to. I needed to make this move.
I needed to move thousands of miles away from home, on my own for me. This was a dream I had to live. Even if it was uncomfortable, even if it was terrifying, even if it broke my heart in the process. I had to look my comfort zone in the eyes and walk confidently in the opposite direction. I had to stare my fears down and march through them.
The decision to move was hard, actually packing my things and getting in my car with no plan to return was harder, but the thought of staying in a city I outgrew was unbearable. Betting on my ability to create a new life that felt good in a strange place was risky, but not betting on myself was a gamble I couldn't stomach taking.
I had to trust myself, I had to trust the process, and I had to trust God.
It's easy to get lost in the hype of moving to a new city. The culture, the views, the new faces, and new discoveries are mesmerizing. Getting to explore a new home and establish new routines is exciting. I got swept up in the excitement of trying dozen different taco places, visiting every dessert shoppe I drove by, and eating at every restaurant someone recommended to me. Despite being so far out of my comfort zone, the allure of it all was captivating.
But in the moments where you just want to feel understood, the allure fades and attraction loses value. In the moments when you just want familiar arms to hold you and can't find any, the lust for adventure expires. The not so glamorous side of moving away from home starts to become evident and the reality of it all smacks you in the face.
The cold, hard, ugly truth is that this move is harder than I anticipated. It's honestly the hardest thing I've ever done. I've spent more nights crying on the cold hardwood floors of my apartment than I care to admit. I've spent more time wandering around a city with thousands of people feeling more alone than I ever have in my life. And I've spent more time talking myself out of moving back home than I can even count.
I didn't just leave the city I outgrew, I left everything I was certain of, everything I've ever known, everything safe..everything comfortable.
I didn't just leave the safety net of familiar faces and my favorite places, I left a village of people that loved me. People that loved me even on the days it was easier to walk on water than stomach my bullshit. I left the people that celebrated every high and laughed through every single low with me. I was moving away from the the friendships that held me together when I crumbled into a million pieces. I was saying goodbye to comfort of always having warm arms and open hearts to fall into.
I moved thousands of miles away from home just to find that home isn't just the city you know the ins and outs of or the food spots that you're a regular at, it's a feeling. Home is the feeling of knowing you always have arms to sink in to, hearts to seek refuge in, and souls that understand yours. Home is having someone care if you ate or not. Home is the laughter you share with the people that refuse to let you go too long without your smile.
I've discovered that sometimes people are homes too.
I wasn't just on an adventure to conquer a new city, I was completely starting over. I was leaving the only life I had ever known in the only city I loved to begin creating a new life..alone. Not just going to a movie or taking yourself to dinner alone.. I mean only knowing 2 people in the entire state kinda alone. Having 15 minute conversations with the pizza delivery guy because he's the only person that's asked how you're doing in days kinda alone. 2 am calling up your ex because you just want someone, anyone to care kinda alone.
That kind of alone will drive you crazy. That kind of alone will have you battling internal wars you've never even been trained to fight. That kind of alone will have you sitting on a cold bathroom floor at 3 am arguing with God. It'll have you packing everything to go back home at 7 am on a Tuesday and begging someone, anyone to talk you out of giving up on a Thursday. That kind of alone will have you questioning God, cussing out the Universe, and ready to quit on yourself.
And then there are moments, moments of insane clarity when the homesickness gets so overwhelming that you can't breathe. Moments when the space between you and the people you love seems so far that it becomes intimidating. Moments when you feel like a stranger in your own life. Those are the moments that I can feel God.
Those are the moments it becomes clear that God is showing me things about myself that can't be viewed from my comfort zone. My ability to bounce back gracefully can never be mastered from the constraints of my comfort zone. My creativeness will never reach it's climax if it's not fed by the taste of my own sadness. My hands will never be able to create masterpieces if they haven't been washed in the waves of frustration and fear.
I will never be able to tell my children to recklessly chase their dreams if I give up on mine just because it's hard and I'm uncomfortable.
And moving.. moving at it's core is hard and uncomfortable, but facing yourself in the mirror everyday after running back to your comfort zone is harder. There are some views of life that God can only show you when you leave the crutches of your comfort zone. After all, a comfort zone is a terrible thing to make a home out of.