Things like packing your apartment to move your life up the East coast have a strange way of causing sentimentality. That is, the process of packing, of knowing that the apartment we’ve lived in for four years won’t be our home any longer. Of course, you know that when you move into an apartment, and it’s not like I’m feeling any sort of overwhelming separation anxiety or anything, but…
When Karen and I moved into our current apartment from the first one we rented together, I had odd moments of sentimentality. More so this time, though, because there have been some really incredible things that have happened in this one. Foremost on that list is that this is the apartment to which we brought our daughter home after the miraculous event of her birth. I think what concerns me the most about this is that she’s showing some anxiety as the familiar melts away and is replaced by ever-growing stacks of boxes in preparation for this weekend.
The last two weeks have been the process of saying goodbyes for both of us. Last week I was struck quite profoundly by the appreciation shown to me by my colleagues as they treated me to a goodbye lunch for work. The process of making arrangements to stay in touch with others (I’ve even caught myself using Facebook more frequently…and I never thought that would happen), and bidding farewell to places we frequent and to our faith community, have been a strange mix of liberating and sad for me.
Oddly, I’ve felt disconnected at times. That disconnection has made me think that, had I the opportunity to do some things over from the past four years, that I would. Karen and I made the decision to distance ourselves from the faith community that had been our home for some time because we found ourselves in a different season of life. During our previous move, we were overwhelmed with friends giving us assistance. Now, we’re working to get people to come help us. That’s quite a difference. We drifted away from the group of friends with which we were close due, in large part, to my wanderlust. I have a good case of it, and it has both served me well and brought me grief in the past.
I have images that I can recall too quickly of those that I’ve alienated because of the pressing, almost illogical need I feel at times to move on to a different place geographically. I don’t always regret moving forward, but I regret the way I’ve handled that movement with certain people. I’ve been left without people that I think would have become great friends or colleagues, and I’ve grown hopelessly distant from friends that were close at one time, but are no longer in contact with me.
I hope that I’m not so old that I can’t change that tendency. I don’t think I’ll ever change my wanderlust, and I’m honestly not certain that I want to. I can change the level of intentionality with which I approach keeping in contact with others, though, certainly now that carrying out that intention is easier than ever before.
There are things that are simultaneously exhilarating and frightening about the fact that we will live in a different state next week. I can’t wait to experience the different culture in a new way, because, although we’ve frequently visited the area to which we’re moving and I already know it well, I’ve never lived there, and that is a much more intimate knowledge of a place. Changes in place are a welcome, wonderful thing for me. I hope that it is for my family, also.
And I hope that I manage to stay in touch with the friends we leave in this place, as well.