It's a Wanderful Life
Now, I know what you're thinking-- Jess, you mean "wonderful," right? No, I don't. Yes, life is wonderful. But this season of life is very much about wandering, discovering purpose, passion, skills, and opportunities to pursue those things. So life is wanderful. It dawned on me recently that the last five years of my life have each looked different in at least one pretty big way, if not more. I haven't lived in the same place or with all of the same people for more than a year at a time. My work and daily routines have also been different, although the changes while I was in college were more subtle.
Up until college, my life was pretty stable. My family only moved once, when I was eleven. Until I graduated from college, I had lived about half of my life in each of the houses my parents bought, which were only twenty minutes apart in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.
I moved from the Twin Cities to La Crosse, Wisconsin for college. The three-hour distance did me some good. It made me start over and learn to do things myself. But even in college, things changed yearly. I lived in different places (two residence halls and then a house off campus), with different roommates, and I worked in different places (my residence halls and then our student union) with different people each year.
After graduating, I moved home and lived with my family for about a year. During that time, I searched for jobs, worked part-time for a while, and started as a temp with the company I now am a permanent employee with. Then I moved into a house with some of my best friends, and we've been together for just over a year.
As someone who craves stability, I am surprised with how much change there has been intertwined with the major components of my life over the last few years. I have traveled back and forth countless times to La Crosse to visit friends of mine who are still there, and until recently, I was plagued with the unanswerable question of why I left. This last time, however, I came to see with astonishing clarity that my life is no longer in La Crosse. The city is beautiful, the people are wonderful, and there are many memories that will forever be associated with that beloved city, but my heart and my life aren't there anymore. Realizing that was so freeing.
I'm not sure where I want to be going forward. I know I won't be in the Cities forever, but I don't yet feel pulled to a specific place elsewhere. I am currently working on putting together travel plans for this time next year-- plans that will take me on a grand adventure overseas. Beyond that, life is like a blank slate. I don't know where I'll end up, what I'll be doing, or who I'll be doing it with. And I'm learning to accept that in all its beautiful confusion.
If I had it all planned out, I would be too tempted to make it happen on my own, leaving God out of it. And I would suffer because of it. I need Him to walk with me, to guide me, to bring about things that are far greater than I could even imagine if I were the one planning my future. And until I feel compelled to put down roots somewhere and declare it home, I will continue wandering through this wonderful, wanderful life, enjoying the scenic route that my Heavenly Father has plotted out before me.
Will you join me?