I've been talking about moving for so long it seems unreal that the day is finally here. I've been signing leases, getting keys, packing boxes, moving a few carloads-but today, today I move my bed and tonight I will officially sleep at a new address. It is a fabulous but bittersweet day.
I moved home the summer after my junior year of college. It was not the home I grew up in-we had moved to my grandma's house the September that I started at SPU. I had a bed in my grandma's room that I would sleep in on breaks, and now I was her roomie. When it became clear that I was not moving out anytime soon, they moved some things around in the basement, whitewashed the stone foundation walls, and my hole was created. It is truly a hole: behind the pantry shelves, under the stairs, with no door and one small window that doesn't open. Just call me Henrietta Potter.
I needed to be home at that time in my life. I had broken up with my almost-fiancee, given up my plan of getting a teaching degree, and was generally depressed and uncertain about life. God and I had a lot of anguished conversations in my hole. A lot of fear, anger, hurt, and confusion was poured out in my journal and on my pillow. But healing also came; joy and acceptance were found in my hole where I slept next to the hot water heater and the furnace.
My family had a lot to do with that healing. When you are lonely, the sight of four young boys rushing the door when you come home from work yelling, "Becca's home!" can give you an amazing amount of encouragement (not to mention the hugs they lavish on you when you do actually get in the door). So many nights my mom stayed up late with me as I processed and cried, giving me advice and comfort. So many times my dad has rescued me with rides to work or a morning cup of coffee and love. So many times my grandma would speak quiet words of wisdom that would change my life.
When people looked at me strangely for saying that I lived with my family, that there were eight of us in one small three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, I tried to explain these things. But after awhile I would just smile indulgently and think to myself, they just don't know. They haven't had my mom's pancakes or my dad's fried egg sandwiches. They haven't played cards with my brothers or listened to my grandma make scandalous comments on the good looks of my guy friends.They just don't know.
I didn't always appreciate it either. The weeks when all I did was work and come home, work and come home, work and come home-these weeks I wallowed in too much self-pity to see the blessings I had. But the more people I meet and the more time I spend away from home, the more I realize how unique it is to have such a great family that you are able to enjoy living with.
Perhaps it is because I realize this blessing that now is the time to move. I have thought about it before. I have had offers before. I waited, wanting the right time and the right people. And I have found them. I have a lot of peace about this move (even though life in general is nothing like peaceful right now). I recognize what I am gaining and what I am losing, and I make this choice not out of a desperation to get out or move on, but because my roots are firmly planted in this thriving family I have.
I will miss a lot of things. I love the drive from Burien to Seattle up the Alaskan Way Viaduct (yes, I love the viaduct!) because of the view of the bay. I even wrote a poem about the drive in college (no, you can't read it. It was horrendously bad poetry). I'll miss waking up to the sounds and smell of fresh coffee brewing. I'll miss coming home and finding the family at dinner, with a place for me at the table. Sneaking into my brothers' room and tickling the giggles right out of them. Having my youngest brother wake me up on a Saturday morning by jumping on my bed.
Yes, even that.
But now I will move in with fabulous gals into a fabulous house near a fabulous lake. I will be able to drive home in a few minutes instead of half an hour when I am at a friend's house late at night. I'll have a place to invite friends over to cook for them. And I'll even have a door (although somehow I still ended up in the room under the stairs, go figure).
So today is the day. I am beyond excited about what I will gain. But I am aware of all I will lose. As with any life change, it is a bittersweet blessing. But it is a blessing.