One week ago today, I got up at 4:30 in the morning finished loading my car, and said goodbye to Texas.
The older I get, the faster time seems to go....but this week. Has been a REALLY long week. It feels like I made the drive a month ago!
Helen, one of my dearest friends and old roommate, made the trek with me on Saturday, October 15. My car was loaded down with all my hanging clothes, my keyboard, my kitchenAid mixer, AND my coffee pot. :-) Since I'd been in San Francisco all week, Helen had a travel bag packed full of snacks and drinks for the ride. We were on the road at 5:30 and began the long drive. We were 2 hours into the drive before we even stopped for coffee. Crazy, right?!?! Yes. But so fun. :-) We drove through Shreveport over to Jackson, Mississippi- then headed south from there to Mobile, Alabama. From Mobile, we jumped on I10 and headed East.
Oh. Also before leaving Texas, I'd meant to get my oil changed as it was past time and knew it would be wise to do so....BUT. With the craziness of everything else- I just didn't have time- so while in Mississippi- we stopped to have the oil changed. The guys SERIOUSLY took MAYBE 10 minutes to change the oil. It was really bizarre. When I got to Tally- I took it to another walmart to explain the situation (light was still on) and asked them to check if it REALLY had been changed or just more oil added. They checked and said "Dang. Those rednecks were FAST cause it's been changed."*
Anywho- in the last several hours of the trip-just became silly. I'd been playing a video for Helen from the show "The Sing-Off" and she really liked the beatboxers.....so she attempted to beat box. And I recorded. Which she didn't know. :-) BUT She approved for me to put on Facebook once she found out- so I'll add it here in case you missed it. Honestly- I was laughing so hard- so excuse my cackling in the background.
We stayed the first night with Carl and Jennifer and their family who live in Tallahassee and are related to my Aunt Mary. I've met them maybe 3 times in my life (they are on my Aunt's side of the family...not the Corso side) and Jennifer was SO helpful when I was looking for an apartment. She works in law enforcement so was able to say don't live south of here....west of here....etc. Anywho- we stayed with them the first night. On Sunday, Helen and I got up, showered, then headed out for the day. We found breakfast to eat outside, had coffee, and started exploring Tallahassee together. We drove by my apartment (to which I'd be getting the keys later that night) and then drove down by my new office.
We explored new grocery stores, parks, and just drove around a LOT that day. At 5pm- we went over to check out a church plant that will be launching soon. When I'd gone out with mom 2 weeks before- I met up with the pastor and his wife after having found them on Twitter. :-) They've been having info meetings and such- so I thought I'd take Helen along for moral support! Somehow it was brought up that I made homemade pasta....So not sure how THAT comes into conversation on my 1st day in town- but oh well. They know now!! :-) Closer to 7 we were going to stop and get dinner. We'd finally settled on a place to get food when the apartment called and said I could get my keys. (The offices were not open- but the girl working there that knew I was already in town said that when SHE got back in town that night she would call me, open up the offices, and let me get my keys....SO nice!!!)
Helen and I grabbed dinner to go- then headed over to get the keys and start unloading my VERY full car. Once unloaded, we made a pallet on the floor and crashed for the night. On Monday morning we got up, made coffee (remember I packed that coffee pot!) and headed out to get groceries. We spent the day checking out a few more places- then.....It was time.
I'd not allowed myself to even THINK about what was going to happen come 3:30pm on Monday. Up until this point- I'd just been having a BLAST hanging out with my friend. It had felt like a vacation and/or spontaneous trip. We got in the car as I was going to take Helen to the airport. I turn on the car and start to drive out of the parking lot when Helen asked me a question. I don't even know what the question was. All I know is that I could not talk.
Up until this point- I'd been wondering when it would hit me. The reality of what I was doing.
I had to wonder no more. It had come.
I cried the entire way to the airport. We didn't talk. Not cause I didn't WANT to. Because I couldn't get words to come out. We pull up to Tallahassee Regional Airport (an incredibly SMALL airport) and I park the car. I get out, walk around, and hug my friend. My friend who has walked with me and encouraged and challenged me through some crucial years. A friend that encourages me to love Jesus more. A friend that has played a huge role in my life and my ability to love people the way I do. Helen is Jesus with skin. Whenever I am around Helen- I KNOW that Jesus loves me. There is no doubt. So as I hugged her, I choked back more tears, said 'see ya later' then got in my car and drove off.
I wish I could tell you that I took a couple of deep breaths, put on my big girl panties, and set off with my head held high towards the adventure that awaits. But that's NOT what happened. I probably shouldn't have been driving with as hard as I was crying. Weeks worth of emotion, stress, anticipation....all hit. This was real.
On my way back to my apartment, Carl and Jennifer text me saying 'soup and salad for dinner...You're welcome to come!"
I text back "I'm an emotional mess. If you're ok with that- then I'll be there." Of course they were ok with it.
I got to my apartment, showered, cried, and well. Ok, let's be honest. I just cried all night.
I had several friends text me to see if I was ok or wanted to talk...I said "I'd love to talk but I can't even get words out because I'm crying so hard. Let's talk tomorrow!" :-)
Caralyn at one point messaged me and said "You need to answer your phone."
So I called her. I don't think she was prepared to hear me.
That night I curled up on the floor and slept knowing that in the morning I'd get to go to work with SUPER puffy eyes.
I didn't feel scared....or alone. I just felt sad. And far away.
Dallas has been my home for almost 10 years. I've made friendships that I know will be around forever. I know the feelings were normal. It's normal to feel the emotions that I did.
I'll end the post here, but I have to say- this week- the Lord has been SO kind to me. Every single night this week I had things going on. Dinners out, watching the Rangers with people....
While I was afraid that my first couple weeks would be me sitting at home alone wishing for people to hang out with- The exact opposite happened. I was out every single night...and EXCITED to get to be at home for an evening.
Only my Jesus could orchestrate such a week for me.
I know He is all over this move. I don't doubt that.