This afternoon I begin my trek west. I'm sitting on the porch at Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea with some of my closest friends from Beaver County. It's a surreal experience. So surreal that it really doesn't feel like I'm leaving. Today, it feels like I'm just about to take a little drive to Columbus to visit friends. Tomorrow will just feel like a trip to Milwaukee. I don't think the reality will set in for at least a week that I'm really going to live in Tacoma, WA, and not Pennsylvania.
That's something interesting I've discovered about life while approaching this day. When I talk about being nervous about leaving or being sad about not getting to stay, friends would encourage me that I'll be back to visit and I can return for a new job in a few years. I used to think that that fact was still a big deal and that three years was a significant amount of time. It still is significant, but I think I'm beginning to realize that life will go on, I'll keep in touch with friends and visit for vacations. When I come home, life will resume. If I move back to Pittsburgh in 3, 5, or 10 years, I'll return to a different set of people, but a life as similar as I choose to make it.
The big difference will be that I'll have an amazing experience under my belt. This move will be the hardest thing I've done to this point. I've lived in the Pittsburgh area for 26 years and now I'm venturing out to a new place with very little familiar places. This will be a growing experience that is completely necessary for me to become the man God's created me to be.
I recognized recently that I need to leave Pittsburgh at some point and try something new. It is clear that this chapter in Pittsburgh is coming to an appropriate end. People are transitioning into new lives and settling into new situations, so it's time for me to do the same. I'm ready to potentially be a pioneer for friends who want to join me in the Pacific Northwest. Or maybe I'm ready to start a new life on my own. Or maybe I need to just get away from PA for a while to recapture its mystery in my heart.
No matter what the case, God is sending me to Tacoma for a reason. I'm excited to see what that reason is. I've got a few ideas.