Whew. It has been a busy two weeks. A wonderful, enjoyable, family- and- friend-filled two weeks, but busy all the same. D and I drove down to his parents' house the Saturday before Christmas, stayed there until the Tuesday before Christmas, spent a week with my family that included side trips to Gainesville and Tarpon Springs, went back to Tennessee to visit both D's sets of grandparents and extended family, and drove back to Madison yesterday. I'm so happy we had the time and opportunity to make the trip and see so many people we love, but I'm also glad to be back to the quietness of my normal life.
I have mixed emotions about where I am in life right now. There are so many positives: I have the job I went to college to do. D is following his dream and going back to school. Neither one of us, nor anyone we know well, has been hit too hard by the economic downturn. We have a nice home with an easy commute to both work and recreation. Running has been going well... But I can't help but feel out of place.
Through all our travels over the last two weeks, not one of the places we visited could I call "home". Gainesville and Orlando are full of good memories for me, but they are not "my place" anymore. Unfortunately neither is Albuquerque or Madison. I know Madison will feel like home after awhile, but it just hasn't clicked with me that this is where we are going to be for the next 3.5 or 4 years. I feel like I'm at summer camp. That everything... my work, my living space, the friendships I make... are all temporary. That they will all be gone when I go home to the real place I belong. But that's not true. This is home. This apartment is our apartment. The church we find will be our church. The job I have is my job. Maybe this time next year thinking those things won't seem so strange, but it does now.
Maybe it's the winter or the loneliness of being in a new city or that the new year is a ready-made time of reflection that is making me melancholy. I long for something that isn't... that doesn't exist... that can't be. I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope across a canyon. I want to look down and see a safety net under me, but there isn't one there. And the key to making it across isn't a net; the key is to keep looking forward, concentrating on the goal of getting to the other side. If I look down for that safety net, I'll fall. And so I start another day of work tomorrow, putting one foot in front of the other, walking steadily toward the goal of making this place home.