As we went through the move and slowly got settled, family and friends kept calling or messaging wanting to know how things were going. Retelling the stress to so many people over the phone, in person, via email or through facebook just made it worse. I couldn’t stomach the thought of blogging. I’m not afraid to be open and vulnerable. I just didn’t want to rehash the same ish over again. At some point, all the reassurances that “everything will work out” or “you’ll find something… it might takes time…” just becomes a bunch of hollow sounding words. The intent behind questions from all our family and friends is totally pure and loving; the waiting while telling and retelling everyone how hard it is to wait is brutal.
But here’s the news: We have survived! We are here! We are mostly unpacked! We are finally somewhat employed.
Frequently, I’ve been reminded that this school has a loving, caring community. I believe it, but I’m tired of hearing about it. Sometimes actions suffice. The way strangers showed up to help unload a moving truck, the way a neighbor stopped by with some extra gumbo, the way everyone asks “how are you?” with that shocking sense of sincerity… yes. People care and caring is cool. It makes me a little sad that real fellowship is a novelty. Maybe I’ve just been fortunate to have good friends and that sense of “loving, caring community” nearly everywhere I’ve been. I haven’t been in the right mental state to give back to new and less-new friends. I’m coming back, though.
Yes, I’ve been thrown into another new group of people and repeatedly told “you’ll make some of your closest lifelong friends at seminary.” I do such a crummy job of maintaining the close, lifelong friendships I already have. But, as I’m getting to know fellow seminarians, I do think some of these new classmates will likely become close friends. I want it to happen organically and not because everyone says these friendships will be forever. It’s hard work to find friends as quality as a Connie or Gabe or Anitra or Amy or Schnurr or Staci or… (See? awesome friends. I could go on for awhile with this list…) The expectation that I’ll be bffs with everyone around this cul-de-sac? Unlikely. And it’s okay because maintaining super close friendships is hard work.
But things are shaping up in Dubuque. I have fallen back into the identity of student. The routine goes something like attend class, do some homework, read A LOT, memorize vocabulary, sleep a little and then do it all again. This week, I have figured out what more of my time will go to: I was hired to work part time at a hotel in town. I had about 90 minutes of orientation today. Though I’m still a little intimidated by training (I hate the process of figuring out new expectations), I’m looking forward to practicing the art of hospitality both at a part time job and in our townhouse. Seriously, I vacuumed.
As for Steve? I wasn’t ready for the guilt that came with moving him away from a job he’d grown to love. Moving can be this horrendous, unsettling feeling and I’ve now been the reason he’s moved twice within a year. The guilt is one-sided. Steve continues to amaze me with his love and support for my calling. There’s no resentment from him. He’s an incredible husband. I think weathering the stress of relocating has made our marriage stronger. I’m looking forward to sharing the next couple years of seminary and good church stuff with him. If you want to know how he’s doing, ask him. I’m not going to try to answer for him, except to say “better.”
For the next couple months I’m going to approach blogging as a discipline. Weekly, I want to post a little bit of what I’m learning and what we’re going through. I’ll try to be as honest as possible but I’ll also try to stay employed, enrolled and on good terms with the Presbytery so you know… a healthy amount of filter.
Read this with sincerity, please:
Thank you for reading this and thank you for caring. I’ll try to be a better friend and person. Thanks for remembering that though I might suck at staying in touch, it doesn’t mean I don’t care or think of you often.