I’m gonna start this by saying that my biggest fear coming to Minneapolis was that it was going to be like Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong, Atlanta had a lot going for it. I met and got to know some amazing people, relationships I’ll treasure forever, but there was always this sense that I was somehow trespassing.
It’s not surprising, I guess. My biggest fear in life is going somewhere I’m not invited. So, it makes sense that I’d feel burdened by the thought that I had made a mistake, that Atlanta didn’t really want me there. And while I don’t think it was really Atlanta or any of the people in it who gave me that feeling, (it was just me), it was still there, and it was kind of right.
I’ve always had this idea, a hope really, that everything in life, good, bad, or indifferent, was all part of the tapestry, every bit held some kind of significance, that it was setting me up for something down the road. Life has tested that theory, especially in the last few years. A lot has come my way that felt significant for all the wrong reasons. How could any of this, I would wonder, actually be setting me up for something down the road?
Well, life is funny, and God, as I have learned a lot in just this past week, is playing the long game.
It’s been a week, and I mean that. It has been a hell of a week. And I could go in point-for-point, but I’m not even sure that would accurately describe how it’s felt this whole time. Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. But having made now a third cross-country move, I’ve realized some things that I’d like to share with you.
Thoughts on moving:
- You will pack very well, at the beginning. You might not start as early as you think you ought to, but once you start you’ll realize there’s a lot less than you thought. This will come in handy later. Life has given you a lot of reasons to pare down to the essentials. You will pack all these up meticulously, categorizing, wrapping, and going through everything thoroughly before you run out of time and just throw what’s left into an empty tub. There is a life lesson here. One you’ll remind yourself of as each new challenge comes your way. It’s this: plan all you want, but in the end, a lot of the most important decisions are going to made at the last minute.
- No matter how much you do, it won’t be enough. You’ve planned, of course. You’re not an idiot. You’ve done all you could beforehand, but, despite all that the internet can provide, there are some things you just have to be there for. Which means there is only so much you can do before you get there. You won’t like this. Refer to the lesson above. It will apply.
- Nothing will happen the way you think it should. Despite yourself, you will hope and dream and plan out in your head how things are going to work out just so. That’s not a bad thing, but reality is contrarian and will find ways to disappoint you. Many of those will happen on day 1, and, no matter how big or small the disappointment, you will start to wonder if you’ve made a mistake. You will despair, you will pray, you will get really mad at God, but then you will do what you can. Because that’s all you really can do.
- Nothing will happen when you think it should. You’d think that important things would be done with enough lead time to prepare properly, that they would build, slowly, over time. But instead, some of the most important things, the things that will insure you get to stay here at all, will come fast and totally last minute. You will go from wondering if you’re going to get any job to having two, about five minutes after you’re wondering what plan B should be. You will go from having no place to live to having one all your own, and a perfect fit, on literally the last day possible.
They say timing is everything. I can tell you that’s true, but they still have no idea what they are talking about. Timing is working for months but getting things done last minute. It’s planning ahead and then changing your plans. It’s never being sure exactly what’s going to happen and yet trusting it will. Because it does.
Because it has. In ways I couldn't possibly have predicted. In ways I was sure it wouldn’t and then it did. In ways that were infuriating in how they held me at bay, daring me to hope just a little longer, just a little wilder, until they actually worked.
And despite my fears, I’m excited. More than I have been in a long while. And I know the hard work isn’t over, yet I’m here.
I’m here, and I can’t help but feel like I belong.