“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss
Approximately 5 months ago, I was given an opportunity to switch things up a bit come Autumn… I took that opportunity. It will go into effect one week from today.
It really just donned on me last night what this means. I’m leaving one of my favorite places in the world. I know many people who have moved away from this relatively small town recently, all with varying degrees of excitement about their departure. I can’t say I’m excited to leave. I don’t question my decision – I know it was the right one to make. But I am suddenly realizing just how much I will miss my life here!
I swear it was just yesterday that I pulled up to the Chehalis Starbucks and introduced myself as the new transfer. I sat almost exactly where I am sitting at this very moment and waited for my new schedule. I remember only too well the awkwardness of being ‘the new girl’, and I’m not anxious to acquire that role once again. I’ve met scores of people in this crazy establishment – partners and patrons alike. It will be odd to walk in 6 months from now and know only a handful of the baristas behind the counter. But I know the faithful few will remain, and I’ll look forward to seeing their faces more than they’ll probably realize!
Immediately after that first stop, I made my way to my church (also synonymous with ‘home’). The, shall we say, stomping grounds of my first eight years of life. So many memories from the past. I had no way of knowing how much more it would shape my life as an adult. I don’t think I could properly express just what the past three years at Bethel have meant to me. One thing is certain – I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The life of an intern is nothing to take lightly. It’s like a full-time job (and then some) plus school… But I don’t regret it for a second. I’m not gonna lie though – I’ll be just fine if I never stack chairs again 🙂 Internship was so much more than the ‘slave labor’ that it’s teased for. The personal & spiritual growth amounts to something that money can’t buy (although without the monetary funds, I wouldn’t have been there!). I know without a shadow of a doubt that SOM was where I was supposed to be.
After SOM graduation, I was hit regularly with the inevitable question by many – “What next?”. My answer was true, but saying “I’m not sure” over and over got old quick. I was waiting for direction. And waiting. And Waiting. In the meantime I acquired a second job – watching the babies in the church nursery. A couple of months after that, I got a third job – nannying two adorable little boys two days a week. To say the last year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. But I didn’t feel truly exhausted til summer hit. Having three jobs gave me enough variety that I didn’t have time to get bored with one job at any given time. By the time I needed to do something different, I was on to the next job! Plus it kept me out of trouble 😉
But now I can see the finish line of this three-year period. The following seven days will be full of ‘lasts’. Sunday will be my last day in the nursery, as well as my last church service at Bethel. Wednesday will be my last night at Fusion. Thursday will be my last day with the boys. One week from now I will be driving through Chehalis for the last time as a resident – from that moment on, I will be just one more visitor.
But with every end comes a new beginning… Perhaps what is to come will be an even grander experience than what I am leaving behind!