It’s been two weeks since life in California started. Yes, I got here before that, but those were fun vacation-type days exploring with Carrie. She left two weeks ago today, so I think of that as the start of my time living here.
Today I finally finished unpacking the suitcase I drove up with (yes, I’m slow), and last night re-adjusted the steering wheel. I hadn’t realized that all this time it was still set for Carrie’s height from a time she drove it. I finally picked some new radio presets, and reset my weather bookmarks online (though, basically I just think of the weather as cold).
I’ve been thinking of moving a bit like a breakup – an amicable breakup in this case. I know it was time to move on, but even the ‘right’ breakups are hard – especially hard if it’s been a longer-term relationship. So I am in the process of moving on from a 9 year relationship with Austin. I knew it would be hard but I have still found myself living the cliche – ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.’ I miss my friends. I miss my church. I miss the familiarity. I really miss my church – I miss celebrating Eucharist every week, I miss our people and our music, and I wonder if I’ll ever get to preach at church out here.
There’s an art to post-breakups – you have to have some plans for the day, so as not to dwell too long in all that you just lost. Keep ice cream around. Try and be active. Go for a bike ride. Phone a friend.
But just like a real break-up it’s the little things that are the most jarring.
I catch myself referring to ‘back home’ when I mean Austin. Sometimes I wonder what my friends back home are doing (that was unintentional, btw) – picture everyone gathering for liturgy, or type in the wrong city when I’m looking something up online. I get excited when I see a familiar looking car – but stop myself when I realize there’s no way it could be my Austin friend’s car. My brain slips – momentarily forgets – just like after a relationship ends. Those are the tough moments – they take me by surprise.
Lest anyone worry too much – it’s not all losses. I know I’m on an adventure. On the freeway the other day I drove past an amusement park. The rollercoaster reminded me of Don’s sermon on my last Sunday and being sent by a loving community. And I’m waiting. I know that someday soon I’ll be able to drive around without a GPS and bike around without a map. I will find a favorite coffeeshop, a new church, and make new friends. I will love my new staff and ministry. It just takes time. It will be different, but it will be good.
In the meantime, I think I’m going to get a haircut.
now listening: True Love Will Find You In the End – Mates of State (cover of D. Johnston)