I am homesick. Homesick for family. For friends. For my home…
Since 1999, I have lived in five different cities and eight different moves between those cities. I’m no stranger to picking up and moving–starting over. This last time was different, though. This past July we moved from the Chicago area to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. 5 years may not sound like a long time, but a lot of life happened in those five years. I started and completed two master’s degrees. I met a guy, we got married and almost had a baby while we lived there (our son was born 10 days after we moved). I lived in an apartment alongside college students for four years, we bought our first house and made it our home. Our church became family and relationships with friends deepened. See what I mean? A lot of life.
People told us that we were crazy to move, end jobs, start new ones and have a baby all within the span of two weeks. I often wish that I could give my 30-year old self advice from my 31-year old self (not to mention my teenage self… but those are stories for another day).
I was telling someone a few weeks ago that I know exactly why we decided to move. The reasons are still clear and are still good reasons. I honestly don’t think we made a mistake but I do know that if I was faced with making the same decision again the outcome may be different. We loved the idea of a full time job with benefits, for me to be home with our son and able to work part-time. We wanted Grant to do something he loves, has experience in and is trained for. Not only good, but great reasons!
What we didn’t realize was just how important it is to have friends and family close by, especially when life completely changes after welcoming a child! We miss the community we moved away from and the friends that had become family. (It still holds true that we don’t have family in Illinois, but we didn’t realize that Minnesota would feel so much further away.)
I didn’t realize just how much time I would spend at home and how much our space and the harsh winter would affect me. How isolating it can be to have a newborn and how important it is to have people around who get what that’s like. How much I would miss our house and our porch. I mean, look at this porch!
I’ve had days where I’ve been thrilled that we’re here too. Like I said, the reasons we moved were great reasons and they hold true even now. I adore our son and I love being a mom. I love that I get to spend so much time with him, to watch him grow and learn new things. I love that I know his finicky nap routine, his favourite toys and how to make him giggle. He is an incredible blessing.
I am thrilled that Grant has a great job that he loves and that he gets to work with people that he enjoys. It is amazing to see him grow in confidence in his gifts and abilities and how much he cares for his students. I love seeing him as a dad and how much more I love him when I see him care for Will. Our marriage is good and continues to grow and we’ve been able to spend a lot of time this year as a family, even if that means we have even more ridiculous inside jokes.
I love spending time with good friends who live in the area and reconnecting with friends I’ve been out of touch with. I also love having the time and space to create and learn new things.
And I have hope. Hope that a second year will feel more familiar. Hope that our community here will grow and that friendships will deepen. And hope that the loneliness and tears will have purpose, that there will be beauty that rises from the painful moments too.