It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything substantial. I moved to Connecticut, leaving the gorgeous state of Colorado in order to marry my best friend and follow him to where his job led. I’d never really thought about the state of Connecticut except when I had to learn the state capitals once. New England was sort of this big blob of tiny, nameless states. I had no idea what to expect, except maybe some nasally accents.
When I was 16, I moved grudgingly to Wilmington, NC with my family from Woodbridge, VA. We moved right after Christmas my sophomore year of high school, so I had to begin a new semester in high school after Christmas break. I also had to pass the mid-term exams about three weeks after starting. The worst part for me was that I’d known almost everyone since kindergarden, and I had to start a new school where nobody knew me. I didn’t know who I was myself, so why would anyone want to become friends with me? My little brother was in third grade and my sister was in fifth grade. They were both pumped about moving to the beach. I was almost jealous of them because they were too young to realize we were moving six hours away from our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and basically everyone we knew. In my self-centered and insecure teenage mind, my life had ended. Of course, it didn’t.
My 70-something friend Bonnie from Colorado, told me that just a few weeks before she was to be married, her husband-to-be received military orders to move to Louisiana. Right after their I-Do’s, they packed up their few belongings into their car, drove across the country, and moved into a shack in the state they affectionately (or not-so-affectionately) called “Lousyana.” I think of her story often, since soon after my husband and I moved near New Haven, CT, we started referring to it as “No Haven.”
Initially, job expectations didn’t quite meet reality. We lived in an apartment where we were woken up at 2am because some drunk neighbor thought it would be fun to see what happens when the fire alarm is pulled. We didn’t have any friends, when I was used to having a totally full social calendar before moving. But in the middle of what seemed like a never-ending winter, we joined a life group through our church and met friends that carried us through like life preservers. Now we’re in a great new townhouse that has its own neighborhood beach. I’m seeing that there is beauty, kindness, and great food in New England.
Will we stay here forever? I’m not sure. The unknown is always unsettling. But I firmly believe that we’re here for a purpose. What that purpose is, I’m also unsure. However, the time here is not going to be wasted. Friendships can be made and restored, faith can grow, patience will be tested, and contentment will be learned.