I honestly did not see this night coming, even a month ago – my last night in this cozy little nest I have called home for the last 4 years. The walls of this apartment have kept me safe (although not always warm) and seen me through a lot of life – more than I ever expected to live through when I moved here. The times of sadness with the deaths of my dog and both of my parents, times of heart break, and times of frustrating illness along with times of immense joy and the triumphs of living life fully and finding “my place”, my sense of self, and my purpose in this world. I can honestly say I have grown more in heart, mind, and character in the last 4 years than I did in the entire 42 leading up to my move here.
Moving to the Flathead was a pretty bold and daunting endeavor for me and when things didn’t go “just as I had planned” I could have turned tail, took my parent’s line that I was always welcome and missed back in Billings to heart, and left. But I didn’t.
I don’t think it is a coincidence at all, that I as I close the door on this place so full of personal discovery I would also be forever severing the ties to my home of 24 years back in Billings. As the belongings of my family’s past are sold and my “home” now becomes where I make it, God has brought me to a very purposeful chapter in my life.
Until now, I always had Billings as a fall back, a safety net. Now it is all up to me. For so long my life has been in 2 places on separate sides of the state. It is hard to put down roots when you don’t know where home is. I was ok with that. Being rooted has consequences, it means you are claiming an identity of place. For so long I have struggled to define who I am. How could I know where I was supposed to be?
At some point on this year-long journey of grief book-ended by the deaths of my mother and father, I found light. Light that nudged me to see that I really do know who I am and I really do have something to offer this world. In all my brokenness, there is a place for me after all and that place is here. It is time to start planting new roots and writing the next chapter in the book of life, my own. I have never felt so sure and so damn afraid.
I have lain awake night after night of late tearfully asking myself, “What have I done???” I realized tonight as I made my way between the boxed-up necessities of daily life that what I have done is embraced the life God has called me to. I have committed myself to living life – not living in limbo. I am talking the clay off the spinning wheel and forming the mass into something. For too long I have been on an unrelenting quest to reshape my existence but never claiming it as my own. No longer. Now, as Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said: “Now with God’s help, I shall become myself.”
I feel like a baby osprey – watched by millions in my little nest, growing and strengthening my wings for one heck of a journey. Now with God’s help, I shall find home.
Good bye little nest. It really is time for me to fly.