I love adventures, big and small, and every new year I resolve to travel more, try new restaurants, and meet interesting people. Then the past two months happened.
Two months ago, Ashley got a call from a charter school in Denver. She had sent her resumé to every school in North America and this school looked at it. And they loved her. Which everyone does. And then they flew us out to meet her. And then they had to have her. Obviously. So we drove around the city, ate at some of the restaurants, met a few fun people, and then decided we would accept the position.
A few weeks later, we said goodbye to Austin and everything in it that we love - the people, the food, our house, and the Tex-Mex. We lived in Santa Barbara for the month of July as a little vacation buffer between our old life and new life and then we drove to Denver where we learned how small 400 square feet really feels. Right now I'm sitting on our couch/bed facing one of our four walls as our dog paces around the room trying to find somewhere big enough for her to lay down. She's forced to lay on a pile of clothes that has to go to Goodwill because we don't have room for anything.
This is the biggest move of our life. We've never lived outside of Texas (and never thought we would #texasforever). Over the past week, as we've been getting settled, learning the streets, filling out change-of-address forms, we will feel these waves of grief. Often it's when we are stressed out, like when we had to drive 16 hours towing our car while crammed into the cab of a UHAUL with our German Shepherd, Lalo. Or sometimes a memory will trigger the sadness, like when Ashley was hanging up her clothes and saw her Chuy's shirt and realized it will be months before we can enjoy creamy jalapeño again. Overwhelming grief.
There are lots of things we are missing right now, but mostly we are missing a sense of "Home". Home is a powerful feeling. I love the idea of being a vagabond but I don't think I could do it for very long because I need Home.
Home is people that you know and love. Home is places that you frequent. Home is familiarity and comfort. There's no place like Home.
Moving takes you from Home to Address. We now have a new location, but our Home is still the same. Our Home is South Austin, where we can get around without using Google Maps. Where we put on a clean shirt to go grocery shopping because we will probably run into someone we know.
But at our new Address, every hour is a new adventure. We need groceries? I don't know where the grocery store is. We need help moving? We don't know anyone. It's August? How do we dress?
At Home, you know all of these answers without having to think about them: It's August in Austin? Get naked if appropriate. But here it takes so much mental effort to figure out each one. It's August? Check the weather. 78 degrees. What does 78 degrees feel like? Go down the elevator, step outside. Determine clothing: jeans and a t-shirt. Back up elevator. Get dressed. Leave for work. Jeans in August just feels wrong! Back up elevator. Put on shorts, until it's appropriate to get naked.
Before our new Address sounds sad and lonely, let me say that most hours we are completely in love with this new adventure. Jeans in August!? Are you kidding me!?! That's the dream! And when we step out onto our street, shaded by giant trees that rustle every few minutes in the breeze, we turn left to walk through City Park - a lively, beautiful park that we make excuses to visit whenever we can. Or we turn right to venture down a row of bustling cafes and friendly restaurants that are going to do a number on our budget. And behind it all, mountains.
Sometimes, when we are walking around our neighborhood, I start laughing. Out loud. Because I can't believe we get to live in such an amazing place.
But I think adventure is the opposite of Home. And right now, our life is adventure. All adventure. Which I LOVE. But it comes at the expense of Home. Which I miss.
The truth, that I know and anticipate, is that each day, week, month, our new Address will start to become our new Home. In fact, it already has. On the way down the elevator this morning I saw Monica, one of our neighbors, and we said hey. Then Lalo and I walked down a couple blocks, over a few, and down another two to get to the dog park - it was our third time to go and I didn't have to use Google Maps. It's the little things that make an Address a Home - and the process has already begun.
Writing this makes me think about heaven. I believe that's our real Home, the Ultimate Home. I think I'm too pre-occupied with making this temporary Address - Denver, Austin, earth - feel like my comfy-cozy Home, when it shouldn't be. I should be feeling uncomfortable at times because that means I'm not making this place to home-y. Usually, I fight the uncomfortableness, but I think we are supposed to embrace it. It's what points us to something else, something better that is coming. Maybe this tight 400 square feet will be a daily reminder that this is all temporary.
And now, a video of our last seven days. Mostly all shot on my iPhone, it's a little montage of our transition to our new Address/Home.