Well, we are finally here.
And the question most often asked now is, “How was your move?”
Um…well…it was a move! Some chaos, some sad good-byes, some exciting beginnings, some exhaustion, some new house to clean, some boxes we’ll be unpacking for weeks to come.
The first couple of days, I was really excited to be here. But last night, I sat in our living room filled with boxes, and this thought jumped into my mind: “I want to go home!”
And I meant camp.
I know this will all take some time. It’s still good to be here, but everything feels kind of weird.
It’s funny how much we define ourselves by what we do and where we live. I don’t think about it that much, but now with everything changing in our lives, it kind of feels like I don’t know exactly who I am.
I sit in our new house and think, “This is not me.”
Ben got a new work vehicle, and I see him drive up, and I think, “That is not ours.”
I look out the window, and think, “This is not where we really live.”
We’re the same, but everything is not the same.
I think I was expecting to feel a lot more settled as soon as we were actually in our new house. But now I’m realizing that the adventure is just beginning. I have no idea how long it will take for our family to feel like all this new life is “us”, but I’m guessing these things just take awhile.
In the uncomfortable moments, I start to wonder, “Was this actually a good decision? Did we make the right choice?” Even though I know it is, and we did.
I’m realizing what the problem is: I see the destination, the end result, as my goal. I want a conclusion, I want to bask in the good feelings of being done, of having already made the transition or completing a goal.
I don’t take enough joy in the process, in the journey.
It’s like this when you live a story: The first part happens fast. You throw yourself into the narrative, and you’re finally out in the water; the shore is pushing off behind you and the trees are getting smaller. The distant shore doesn’t seem so far, and you can feel the resolution coming, the feeling of getting out of your boat and walking the distant beach. You think the thing is going to happen fast, that you’ll paddle for a bit and arrive on the other side by lunch. But the truth is, it isn’t going to be over soon.
The reward you get from a story is always less than you thought it would be, and the work is harder than you imagined. The point of a story is never about the ending, remember. It’s about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle. (p.177, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
We wanted a good story for our family, and we felt it was important to make this change.
So here we go! The good part is in the middle, even though that’s also the uncomfortable part. We’ll wander through weird feelings of displacement, and we’ll keep trying to make this home, until one day really soon (that doesn’t feel soon enough at the moment, but will come at just the right time), we’ll wake up and not even notice that we are already at home.
It will have become the new normal.
And all the middle stuff will have made us a little bit stronger and a little bit braver, and maybe a little bit better at figuring out how to face change.
It’s like this with every crossing, and with nearly every story too. You paddle until you no longer believe you can go farther. And then suddenly, well after you thought it would happen, the other shore starts to grow, and it grows fast. The trees get taller and you can make out the crags in the cliffs, and then the shore reaches out to you, to welcome you home, almost pulling your boat onto the sand. (p. 182, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
It’s just a little move. It’s not to another country, and it’s not a daring adventure, but…in some ways, it is. Isn’t it always a bit daring to change who you are, even if it’s by changing what you do, or where you live?
If you’re out there paddling your boat in the middle, just like us, I wish you all the best as you wait for the shore to reach out and welcome you home!