It’s hard to believe – impossible to believe – but one year ago today I moved away from Seattle. I just went back and re-read the entry I wrote that day, and it remains one of the most honest things I have ever written; it hits at a deep place, even 365 days later… excuse me – 366. It was a Leap Year.
When I left, I didn’t have a real sense of how long I would be gone, but at my core, I hoped that it would be less than a year. You know: go find myself, get it over with already, and then quickly head home – preferably to get married and buy a house and have babies. The past year has exposed the extent to which I have desired the American Dream – I didn’t realize how much I wanted it until I willingly chose such a solo and unstable lifestyle. In my discomfort, I have longed for comfort. In my confusion, I have longed for clarity. In my chaos, I have longed for calm.
In my anonymity, I have longed to be known.
Moving is, if nothing else, very lonely.
But the past year has also taught me that life is not a checklist; it cannot be a checklist. I cannot look at my circumstances and think, “Once I get this-and-that,” or “When I achieve such-and-so,” I will be one step closer to success, wholeness, and legitimacy. I cannot expect that the American Dream is going to make me happy, because honestly, I am watching it fall flat for people all around me. A home does not equal stability. Money does not equal contentment. And most tragically, love does not necessarily equal forever.
I still hope for these things. In my most honest moments, I have a deep desire for a good and honorable man to share my life with – one whom I will love wholeheartedly and unequivocally. I want babies of my own. I want family vacations and birthday parties and a Bernese Mountain Dog and all of the wonderful goods damnably reserved for wedding registrations. I want a car with keyless entry and a house with a walk-in closet.
Maybe these things are in the cards for me. Maybe not.
But more than anything, I want to walk the road intended for me. And right now, that road continues here in Nashville. It’s all that I have, and it’s all that I am, and despite all feelings to the contrary, I am never alone.