So I did it.
That's been the question. I've been reading through my favorite book again, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Don Miller. In one of the chapters, Don mentions the idea that we rarely think about: what happens to the characters when the story is over? We all know about John Cusack holding the stereo in the girl's yard, or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan on the top of the Empire State Building, or Rudy making those unlikely tackles in his first-and-only playing time for Notre Dame. But what happens next? People don't live happily ever after because there is always a new goal, a new challenge, a new endeavor to navigate. I'm starting to learn what it really means for this to be the start of a new chapter rather than the end of a story.
This move has been the toughest thing I've ever done. Some days I wake up with debilitating homesickness that makes it difficult to function normally and enjoy my day. Some days I don't, though, and I thank God for those days. Things will get better, but for now I'm still just handling the homesickness day-to-day.
The most difficult part of this move has absolutely been finding community. It's not that I'm struggling to meet people or find places where community is, but it's just that I'm struggling with not having any support system in place here for me to rely on as I venture out for new places to call home. I don't have that one go-to friend to talk to about everything. I'm still finding ways to get my emotions out and feel refreshed. It's been a real struggle to lay in bed at times and process my thoughts by myself because sometimes it's hard to talk to anyone about them, even if they know what I'm going through.
Things are getting better, though. This weekend I spent time with some people who made me feel like they are genuinely happy to have me here. I do have a need to feel appreciated and I think the last 48 hours have made me feel that way consistently for the first time since I left Pittsburgh.
This is a journey. The past month has been an amazing journey that I'll never forget. Yesterday was a journey. Today is a journey. Tomorrow is a journey. Every day we learn new things about ourselves and others. Each day we get more comfortable than the last. One day soon Tacoma will start to feel a bit like home.
No matter when that is, I know that I need to take advantage of the opportunities I have while I'm here. I want to go to shows weekly. I want (need) to start a band and play a shows around the Sea-Tac area. I may even want to live in Seattle for a year before my time here is done. Until then, though, I am living in Tacoma, finding community, and filling the voids that have been left from my move. I'm also creating new experiences that would not happen in Pittsburgh.
At the end of the day, God has placed me as a tree in a story about a forest. The story is ongoing and purposeful. There is a reason for me to be in Tacoma right now and it doesn't have as much to do with me as I'd like it to. I'm just a tree in a story about a forest.