“I’m in awe of the way we romanticize the things we willingly left behind when the present moment starts testing us.” – Hannah Brencher, Come Matter Here
I have a tendency to get nostalgic in August. This month is a whole other kind of January. It brings with it new possibilities, as well as new stresses, so I get nostalgic for the places and people I’ve had to leave behind along the way. I’m no longer a student, but I remember that anticipation and dread before a new school year. I’ve moved a few times in August, and that has brought its own transitional period right along with it.
Around this time last year, I came back home. I’d been somewhat homesick the entire year or so that I’d been gone. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my time away, but I definitely imagined that things would, at the very least, be easier if I could just be back in Texas, where I knew more people and had previously felt at home.
Truth be told, though, I had needed to get away. It was important for me to see what else was out there. I also think it was important for me to come back and realize that the location wasn’t everything.
When I was in Washington (and in Kansas before and after), I had this idealized version of Texas in my mind. When I came back to Texas, all I wanted was to leave again. I hadn’t planned to be here long, so I didn’t let myself really settle in for the first few months. But then plans fell through and I realized I’d have to set down roots again.
It makes sense that these transitions are difficult. Moving anywhere, even if the place is somewhat familiar, can be tough. But I’ve also consistently let my mind and heart lag behind. I’ve let myself believe I’d be better off elsewhere, when that’s probably not the case.
I’m terrified of moving again. I’m not necessarily planning to anytime soon, but I know I need to be more intentional about the mindset I bring into the next transition. I want to be all-in for whatever big change I choose next in my life, whether that’s a move, a new job, or something else.
By the way, I’m not saying it’s bad to feel nostalgic for another time and place. It’s just important to remember the reality of the places and times we miss after leaving them behind.
So here’s to transitions and the in-between. I hope we can all find a way to settle in, even in the places that are somewhat temporary. Because aren’t they all?