One week from today, I will leave Minneapolis for five months to finish my last semester of college.
One week from today, I will say goodbye to strangers who became friends, coworkers who became mentors and colleagues who invited me into their writing circles. It’s like Seattle all over again.
Leaving places never gets easier.
Even though I know I will return in January, the connections and memories I’ve made make it hard to say “see you later” to Minnesota. Sure, I can’t wait to be home and with my loved ones in Indiana, but I know, come New Year’s Day, I will have to say goodbye to them, too. Sometimes nothing feels permanent. Sometimes, all I want to be is settled.
At the same time however, I feel blessed for having lived in so many vibrant, unique places. Because I know that without moving myself to these places and without meeting so many new people, my life would look a lot different … and not in a good way.
Moving is a dramatic time of change — It can bring out the best and the worst in us; It can drive relationships apart; It can be downright miserable and lonely at times; but it can also wonderfully change us. And that’s where I think the true beauty in moving lies. Amid the pain, unfamiliarity, adjustments and confusion is this great opportunity to be immersed in a new culture, with different people from opposite backgrounds. My heart longs for my closest friends and family members … but I have much to owe to the new relationships I’ve cultivated. They have added to my knowledge. They have given me a newfound compassion and positive outlook on life. They have taught me more than I could learn in a classroom.
Transitioning from living in Seattle, to Indiana, to Minnesota and back to Indiana again has been a wild and crazy ride. But it has also been a journey full of joy, beauty and enlightenment. The more people I meet, the more my faith is renewed. No matter what separates us, in the end we all have similar hopes and fears.
Leaving places never gets easier … but stepping out of your comfort zone is an adventure that is always worth the willingness to take.