Hello! The demands of family reunion and wedding schedules and a new job for me and planning for Baby McCord have overwhelmed my mind and calendar for the last couple weeks. Those very good things, coupled with a glorious trip to California to see friends and family, have utterly consumed my brain waves recently.
It was good to have one less thing to think about in the midst of our full-of-good-things-April-and-May, but I was surprised by how much I missed blogging. And all of you.
So I’m back, writing in this little space, even amidst life’s rush (because, really, won’t it always be rushed and busy and too full for extra good things?), mostly because I simply cannot step away.
Along with this totally cliche “I’m back!” post comes an announcement of a different sort too. It’s always so strange and awkward to say goodbye to a place, especially a place that has become as familiar as this city has become to Mark and me.
But this weekend, we took our last walk by the Capitol, spent our last Sunday afternoon strolling along the Mall, sat in our church for the last time and said a formal goodbye to the city we know. Movers are coming this week and if all goes well, Friday afternoon will find our Prius somewhere between Washington, D.C. and Michigan.
We are excited for the new adventures ahead. Excited to meet our little guy and become parents, excited to spend the summer in Michigan, and excited to become Aggies late in the summer as Mark begins new adventures at Texas A&M.
But it’s bittersweet too, to leave a city where we have so many memories. Mark and I both showed up in D.C. as single young professionals, ready to tackle this thing called adult life. We met here, dated here, and planned a wedding in between long work days at our first “real” jobs.
No matter where we go after this, D.C. will always be the city where we started this great adventure of married life. No matter what size apartment or house we live in after this, Northeast D.C. will be the place where we lived for a year in our cozy house on a questionable street with three roommates, five bikes, a shared kitchen and a mysteriously bottomless pile of dishes.
It’s bittersweet to leave the friendships I have here behind, too. It’s not really goodbye forever, because the kind of friendships that hurt to leave aren’t really friendships that end. The emails and texts and visits will go on, but there’s something sad about this changing rhythm of friendship, about saying goodbye to casual random visits and regular hangouts on back decks and knowing who will come when you invite everyone over for chili at the last minute.
My friendships with these wonderful women have truly been some of the most precious and important relationships of my life. They’ve seen me at my best and at my very worst and their prayers and love and laughter have carved a permanent place into my heart.
But we weren’t made to stand still. Mark and I and all of these dear friends have adventures ahead, adventures that are sometimes hard to begin but adventures that are good gifts all the same. And if I leave our friends here with one thing, it would be this quote from Donald Miller, these words that always ring true:
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry.”