Leaving home.

May 04, 2011

I got the phone call three days before I graduated from college, four years ago this coming week. I was offered a job twelve hundred miles away and every independent, strong-willed fiber in my being yearned for it. It was only temporary; I would be back within six months of starting. The temporary made it safe and doable. I could move away from everything I knew to a place where I knew no one because it was temporary. I could play the role of a recent graduate off to make a name for herself because I knew I'd be back here soon enough anyway.

That August I packed my five-year old car to the roof with vacuum-packed bags of clothes, a laundry basket of shoes and a willpower that wasn't afraid of the unknown. I showed up to my first day of work wide-eyed and ready to prove to those who hired me that I was the right choice.

And I was ready to prove to myself that I had made the right choice.

It was easy at first. I was surrounded by people who had also made the daring move West knowing not a soul in our new city. We clung together as if we were all each other knew and we locked arms as we carefully tiptoed down this new road we had embarked upon. It was like we had thrown a little powder in the air, snapped our fingers and made instant friends for ourselves.

That December, I spent the first Christmas away from my family. Determined for normalcy, I spent the weeks before trying to find a church that I could celebrate in. I found one, and on that chilly winter night I sat in the back pew while the offering plate passed me by and I sang carols with the strangers around me. I felt out of place and alone, but reminded myself again that it was only temporary. As I passed a lit candle to strangers, I was proud of myself for doing it alone.

At the end of January, the job ended and I packed up my car. The drive back home was longer than I had expected and tears came freely as I sat in the driver's seat confused on where I was heading. I was heading back home, the place I had grown into the young twenty-something I was, but did that mean that the home that I knew was forever? Where was I supposed to be? What was I supposed to do?

I got the phone call two weeks since I had driven back into my parent's driveway in Texas. I was offered a job twelve hundred miles away and every independent, strong-willed fiber in my being yearned for it. It was now permanent; I would be back within eight months of starting. The permanent made it scary and mysterious. I would move away from the place I had grown up in to a place where I had planted too few roots in.

I would play the role of a recent graduate off to make a name for herself because I knew it was where I really needed to be in that moment, that time of my life. The friends I had initially made there had left. The family I was leaving wasn't following. The plans that were in front of me were unknown.

I was doing it on my own. I could do it on my own. And with a little help along the way, I have done it on my own.

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  1. Doesn't it feel really good, knowing that you can be independent?

    It always made me feel like a pioneer (I've moved...a lot).

  2. Fantastic post, I really love your writing style. I've only recently moved out of my dad's house {two years ago next month} & am still only ten minutes away so I can't even imagine! You totally rock.

  3. 1200 miles is far away from home. The holidays in a new place by yourself sounds like it would be very difficult.

  4. Good for you for being brave. My parents moved to another country 3 months after I went to college. It was hard. So hard I nearly quit. Numerous times. Hardest thing I ever did but so very worth it!

  5. Striking out on our own is scary and empowering all at the same time, isn't it?

    Good for you!

  6. This brings me back to that time in your life, where everything is ahead of you and the road you take is now in your hands. So liberating, exciting and so very scary!

  7. You are brave. Not sure if I would have been able to do something like that and leave all my family and friends behind.

    I can totally related to the emotions you felt during this time and the need to prove to yourself that you COULD do this.

    Great post!
    Added myself to your Google Friend Connect:)

  8. Kudos to you! It is hard to be away from the familiar permanently, and you're one brave soul to do it. Independence is empowering, but also hard. I'm still trying to learn it myself.

  9. So much to be learned in the desert. So glad He brought you here. :) So glad we stayed.

  10. I love that you're giving yourself the credit you so rightly deserve!

  11. great post. nothing like gaining your independence in a new place. I'm from Michigan and living in California. wasn't easy but wouldn't change it!

  12. AWESOME POST! Nothing like the feeling you get when you're scared to death to try something new and difficult and to be able to look back and say you did it!

    Visiting from Mama Kats

  13. Perfect summary of the move to AZ! I was just thinking that mine was a year ago in about a week and how scared I was at the time. Those 12 months blew bye!


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