This semester is two weeks old, and I have been residing in Dallas for a month now. If one thinks that by writing a few lines down about Dallas, before reflecting on my move away from Burnet, that I have gotten ahead of myself and misstepped, do not fear nor make a quick judgement, I haven't neglected to write about leaving that dear town. There is a quick explanation.
Moving away was painful. I am fully aware that for weeks prior and following my departure, I was detached and unemotional when talking about my leave, except with the two people I am closest to, Mitch and my mother. Sure, I could explain why I was down about leaving, and what few things I was looking forward to in the big city, but those things were delivered in a quick, flat, logical explanation, with perhaps a whisper of wistfulness ("...if only Burnet could be transported to surround DBU..."), but not much. Sometimes I felt bad, because it seemed that I was presenting my feelings about the upheaval as non-existent, i.e. "This unfortunate thing is happening, but I don't care either way". To those who know me best it was clearly the other way around. I am a romantic, and every last made me choke down the knot in my throat. The last trip to Kiri's. The last sight of Alisha. The last time to shut down the Epicenter. The last Bible study. The last bike ride. I was a wreck, but I was a composed wreck. This conflict, like any conflict big or small, I rode through on auto-pilot. I said what I needed to say, and did what I needed to do to make a clean break, to weather the storm, to keep my composure, and to not add tears to anyone's eyes.
There were the two times that I couldn't keep the tears in, in front of people other than Mitch and my mom: Once, at Bible study, though only the adults noticed, and again in front of the church on my last Sunday morning, when I was supposed to be offering them some last words.
I just like to get through the problem, and think about it once it's over.
So that is what I did. Once I moved up here, I felt myself remain in the zone. It was difficult to process, even after all of my bags and boxes were unpacked, and my shelf in the pantry was stocked with food, the fact that I was not going home, to Burnet. I made no journal entries, nor stopped to examine how I was feeling. I felt boredom one evening for the first time in a year or so.
The question people had posed a hundred times, "Are you excited to move back to Dallas?" haunted me because I still had not a confident answer. It is a given that I was thrilled to be so close to Mitch. I soon learned that I had much to learn about how to co-habitate in the same city with my (all good words). Yet, that reason alone was not enough to fully answer the question with. Yes, my friends and family would also be closer. School would finally come back into focus. But with the hurt of leaving a home and a family, no answer was good enough; filled with enough sincerity, or true excitement. I knew excitement not. I knew that it would not be good to stay, and that it did not feel good to leave.
Yet, I am enlivened. I wake up a bit more everyday. I shouted a jubilant HELLO to the skyline. Going to Church of the Incarnation is the highlight of my every week, basically. I long to return to its kneelers and join in the traditional songs of my family, the church. It is nice to have college-age conversation, to fully belong to a school, to come home to a family of girls, to live in creativity with my best female friend, to meet new people, and click-click to a faster way of life again.
Oh, who can deny that the best part are these lazy and lovely days I get to spend with my beloved? Mitch and I have settled into (can it be?) some kind of routine. It is mind blowing. I remember slight trepidations at the thought of being together so much. I was scared for what it might prove. How incredible it is that all it has proved is that I am ever-more fascinated by him. I actually get to scan crowds to see if I can catch a glimpse of him, grab a quick lunch with him, go to a Tuesday night movie, and just live like a normal couple! Finally! God is so good to me! This is such a fortunate, providential, and refreshing time for us.
I am trying to be slow about committing myself to anything else, right now. I go to a Bible study of thinkers, co-host Poetry nights, and work with Pre-schoolers. I have to find a service activity, but that is where I am drawing the line. I want to maintain some semblance of the slow way of Burnet life.
So, to those who might be concerned, I have written about Burnet, in detail. I am not done, but I will try to finish this week. I've been hesitating. And when it is done, it is done.