California/ Florida

California is growing on me.

It’s perfect weather. The mountains. The sea. It’s beautiful. It’s endless places to explore and see. It’s people, nice and charming. (Unlike what some have told me – I have not had bad experiences with Californians, unless they’re driving. Crazy.)

California is tearing me a part.

I miss my friends in Tallahassee so much. I miss weekends with family. I miss the comfort of small town life. (I do not miss the humidity.)

Life will never be the same again. I will always been conflicted. In fact, it will likely keep growing as we move and change. I’ll be split between more places and more people.

What I do know is this: California has been a huge blessing to my family and for this I am eternally gratefully, even if by moving here I’ve been torn in two.

Where are you torn between?

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A Friend from Home

Recently, one of our friends from home moved near by and let me tell you it has been the best. I constantly realize how much I miss all of our friends from Tallahassee all the time and it has been so great to make California feel like home these last few weeks.

Friendship is an amazing thing. Even though we haven’t seen each other since at least July we picked back up just like nothing ever happened. It’s been fun to show someone around our new home. (Our first visitor!) It’s also fun to reminisce and be able to make fun of how weird California is to us.

Truly one of the biggest blessings of the year. A little taste of home all the way on the West Coast a Thanksgiving/ Christmas miracle. Who could ask for a better gift?

 

 

The First Week

We’ve been in California almost a week! Taylor has already started working and I’ve been busy applying for more Jobs.

Our apartment is quickly coming together and starting to feel more homey. However, when I look outside it does not look like home at all. There are mountains and there are rarely any clouds. The weather truly deserves to be bottled and sent back to those suffering in the mugginess of Florida. The weather is truly closest to the two weeks of Spring that Tallahassee gets – but so far that’s yet to end. I’ve been told this is a rather cool August, but hey – I’ll take it!

We’ve hardly done any exploring – hopefully more of that will get done soon – but we did make a trip to the DMV (yuck!), to a church that reminds me so much of Four Oaks Midtown (except that it’s in an area of California where people keep and ride horses. We actually saw people on horse trails outside the church building. Not like Tallahassee at all.) , to my new favorite place, Trader Joe’s, and to a fancy shopping plaza for Taylor to visit an Apple Store.

It took me five days to make it through a day without crying. Homesickness is a real thing and it comes in waves. It’s starting to seem more normal now, but it’s not without its challenges. Right now, I’m looking forward to the day I land my next job and to meeting new people soon.

Saying Goodbye

I am in California, sitting at a Starbucks basking in the glory that is the Internet. I’ve got so much to say from the last week so I’ll start at the beginning and hopefully be back up to the present soon. 

Leaving Tallahassee was infinitely more difficult that I ever thought possible. With all the pejorative things I’ve said about Tallahassee and how much I talked about wanting to leave, I realized that anytime you leave your comfort zone, even if your comfort zone is Tallahassee.

The days leading up to the move where certainly the most difficult. Every day there was a goodbye and they progressively got more difficult. In the end, I was in such a serious state of depression that I could melt into tears at any moment. It was easily one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s still hard now to even think about it as I sit in this Starbucks, watching Taylor work, knowing that he’s the only one I really know in this city.

I know that this is only temporary and that it is for the best. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.

 

Things I Will Miss About Tallahassee

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I never thought I’d miss anything. I always knew that was wrong. I just never knew how conflicted I’d be to leave.

  • Being close to our family. The four hour drive allowed us so much opportunity to go to Orlando to a weekend and easier holiday traveling. It will be so sad to not be around as much.
  • All of our friends. We have great friends in Tallahassee. Some of them are moving too, but so many of them are staying and they will be greatly missed.
  • Our church. We love our church and the amazing amount of wisdom and grace it has poured out to us over the last (almost) six years. We know finding a new church in California will be such a challenge because the one we’re leaving behind is so great.
  • No traffic! I’m not even in Southern California yet and I am already paranoid about my new driving environment and potential commute to work. Pray for me! Those of you who know me may know that I hate driving more than anything in the world so Southern California is gonna be a BIG adjustment.
  • Momo’s. This place is amazing. I have eaten more slices of Momo’s than any human should. But, you should seriously eat a slice as big as your head in my honor.
  • Memory places – FSU, Maclay Gardens, Trinity Reformed Church – All of these places are so important to Taylor and I and so much of the beginnings of our relationship took place here. They are such sweet places and I’ll miss driving by them and thinking fondly of our time here.
  • Our cozy apartment – I love our apartment. It has been such a great space and a great fit for us. Even though I may have complained too much about the maintenance, it’s my favorite place to be.
  • Thomasville, Ga – I love this little slice of the south. We’ve had many a date in Thomasville and they are some of my most favorite times.

You Remind Me of Home

Home. What is it? 

I spent the last weekend in Orlando. It was a wonderfully weekend and the last of its kind for a while.

It got me thinking though about the concept of home. I spent most of my childhood in Orlando, but I remember the almost immediate feeling that it was no longer home as soon as I came back from college one weekend that fall. Something had changed or maybe I had changed, but it didn’t possess the homey comfort it used to. Instead, the homey comfort had been replaced by nostalgia and suspicion that the location of home had changed.

Now, almost six years later home is Tallahassee. Taylor and I made our life there and it has all of the homey comforts we enjoy. Soon, Tallahassee will be replaced with the same glorious nostalgia. It will be of a time gone by – I’ll remember fondly so many memories and places and people, but it won’t be home. We’ll build a new home and eventually it too will possess the homey comforts we associate with home because home is not a place as much as it is a feeling and people.

Each time we move, we break apart a bit. We leave a piece of who we where behind. Pieces of my heart will always be in Orlando (with our family, with my childhood and high school self, with the smoke stacks of suburbia) and in Tallahassee (with our friends, with my college and young married self, with the brick buildings and the smell of Diffenbaugh Hall) and now onward to the next stage to find a new self to leave behind and a new place to make feel like home.

The Start of It All

Another story of past post. You can read them all here.

I moved to Tallahassee only a few short weeks after my trip to Romania. I was still reeling from a bit of culture shock, full of waves of religious excitement that come from monumental moments like that trip and full of anxiety about the future.

I knew I was going to be a full-time missionary. I switched my major to International Affairs and knew that in just four short years my life would finally be on its way overseas.

I was wrong and now I’m so glad I was wrong.

I look back at that year with so much fondness. I had so much fun meeting new people and staying up late.

It was good that my religious high came when it did because it really helped me to pick a church and I ended up in a college ministry and for the first time in my life I really studied theology to try to figure out what I believe as an adult, not as the girl who just went to church with her parents.

I grew in every way. This was really when I started to see myself apart from my parent and from their home in Orlando. It started feeling less and less like home and it’s never really felt the same.

I also met the man I would marry. We met the very first night I lived in Tallahassee. I had been out with a friend and when I got back my roommate had old friends and new friends over in our dorm playing cards (I think). Taylor was one of the new friends that showed up. We had a mutual friend from high school but had not met each other before. From that moment, we were rather inseparable friends. We spent an entire semester pretending that’s all that was going on, but I’m pretty sure everyone around us knew that was false.

More on that in the next installment.

Friends with an FSU Statue

Friends with an FSU Statue

In Westcott Foundation!

In Westcott Foundation!