On Moving Again

I took the long way to an appointment on Sunday and stopped by Hollins University, the campus where I got my master's degree in Children's Literature. It had just stopped raining, and I had just met my dear friend Shawna for lunch in Daleville. The sight of the library and the post-rain mist on the mountain behind it brought back memories of the summer I spent there, dirty chai lattes in hand and copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit tucked under my arm.

I had just finished up a year of working for my parents and was taking that summer and the following year off to finish my graduate work. Rob and I moved to Charlottesville and he studied at UVA while I opened a coffee shop downtown every morning and wrote every afternoon. At first it was scary and I was anxious and clumsy and everything felt uncertain, but we soon hit our stride and I started to figure things out and now I look back on it as one of the happiest times of my life so far. My friends were there, and Rob was there, and we made that little apartment with the green carpet and the terribly small kitchen feel like home.

On the way home from Philadelphia on Saturday, we drove through Tyson's Corner and passed by Rob's office headquarters. The overcast morning and crazy drivers reminded me of our six months apart before he moved even further to Minnesota. I would drive to DC on the weekends and we'd spend time together, visiting the mall at Tyson's Corner and eating at a new restaurant every night. The distance scared me so much, and I cried every Sunday evening when it was time to go home, but as our car passed by that Saturday, I missed that place.

Shawna has been one of my best friends for longer than I can remember, and today she's heading from Roanoke to Florida to start medical school. Yesterday we sat in a coffee shop and laughed, telling stories and watching the rain pour down outside. She is constantly making me proud and inspiring me to be braver, and I wouldn't be where I am today without her friendship and example. And I wouldn't be even half as brave as I am today without the promise of Rob.

Those things and places that once felt so uncertain become memories of the days where you knew exactly what you were doing. Hollins and Charlottesville and visiting DC were once causes of anxiety for me, and visiting them today makes me feel more like myself again. So today, as I begin my last week of work at my current job before moving to Minneapolis next week, I know that some time from now, I'll look back on our time in Minnesota with confidence and familiarity.

I'm ready for this next adventure.