|(^ this is me)|
To say that I do not transition well would be a gross understatement.
I blame it on the fact that for the first 18 years of my life, the furthest I ever moved was down the hallway.
(With the exception of a brief two month study abroad in Costa Rica, whereupon I proceeded to bawl my eyes out for approximately 48 hours straight each time I had to change locations - week long amazing vacation to the beach with my host family included)
After that, my life has pretty much been a series of moving boxes and mental breakdowns.
I was in and out of the dorms for three years before I finally "settled" into my first off-campus house and stayed in the same place for 24 blissfully consecutive months.
Shortly after college graduation, my life was packed back into boxes and stored "temporarily" in my mom's garage for an uncertain amount of time as my housing options lapsed and I became a statistic (moving back in with the parentals after earning my degree). Only, this particular move was probably the hardest one for me because unlike my other temporarily transient friends, I didn't get to move back "home" - I lost that luxury when the house of my childhood was sold as a result of my parents' divorce.
My heart grieved for that intangibly familiar sensation of walking in the doors of my family home.
More than just a building, those walls held so many precious memories. I was brought to that home from the hospital. I said my first word on that driveway. I suffered through braces, an awful perm, and acne just up those stairs. One sister announced her engagement at that kitchen table, another showed the video from when she eloped in that family room. Five beautiful women lived out their child and adolescent lives under that roof. Piano lessons, groundings, water fights, goldfish and guinea pigs, Thanksgiving dinners, jelly bean trails, orange counter tops, stairway pictures, play closet, milk box, back gate, kitchen phone (tangled cord), "don't play around doors!", water beds, Sunday comics, swing set.
I knew every nook and cranny of that house - memorized the sounds by heart - so that I could lie on my bed with my eyes closed and be able to tell who was home, where they were located, and what they were doing. It was like a part of me.
And so, when it was gone, I knew that part of me would forever be changed.
I think I have moved every year since the house sold, and each time it gets just a little bit easier. Never less chaotic - in fact, my last several moves have involved more temporary bouts of homelessness - but emotionally, my heart is learning to attach itself to people rather than places.
Some of these people are safe and tender with my heart. Some simply did not have room in their own hearts for mine to move in - and the harder I forced it, the more misshapen things became.
But here I am, in transition yet again.
I've essentially been living out of the same suitcase since June. The majority of my belongings are located in a basement storage area in my step father's home, and I honestly have no clue when I will be retrieving them. In the last four months I have moved from Portland to Peru to Nevada. I went from a two bedroom townhouse - which I occupied alone - to a futon in the office/spare bedroom of my sister's house, to a suite in an orphanage filled with children, to a series of hostel rooms in South America, to my current location in the spare room of yet another sister's home.
And whereas I previously suffered as a result of allowing my heart to become too settled in any one location, I'm now suffering from so much transition anxiety, it seems as though my heart refuses to settle in anywhere.
I don't know how to be present anymore. I've lost my home and I don't know how to find it.
I miss Peru and the person I was when I was there. In just three short weeks, my life was changed completely.
I miss Portland and the person I was there. I miss my church. My community.
And yet, I know when I leave Nevada, I'm going to miss the person I am here as well.
One of my weirdly favorite things to do is to take secular music and pretend its worship. (You should try it sometime with your favorite love song.) So when I first heard the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips, I just knew Jesus was trying to tell me something. Only in my hurt and confusion and frustration, I didn't really want to hear it.
Luckily, He's persistent.
Seriously, just listen to the lyrics. To me, they are a reminder that if we just learn to trust in Him, regardless of our physical or emotional location, we will always be at home in His love.
Amen to that.