We move in less than a week. We move in six days. I still have a hard time believing it, but we’ve sold all of our furniture and closed on the house, so it must really be happening. It will be hard to leave.
I have always been drawn to the south. I was born in Maryland, a proud descendant of people from the North Carolina hills. I have lived in the south for the majority of my life, and I have an ancestor on my dad’s side from the 1700s buried twenty minutes from where I live now. I have taken trips to other cities and long trips to other parts of the country and the world, and every time I felt myself become whole again when I returned to the ghost-riddled south. It has always had a hold on me. But in six days my wife and I are packing up the few things we haven’t sold and driving to the extreme other corner of the country, to The Great Northwest, to Seattle. I have cried over the things we’ll be leaving here enough; now I just want to get there. I’ll take pictures and write for you all along the way. We’re driving to Cincinnati where I grew up, then Chicago, then across the frozen north.
I was talking with a friend this morning about our lives. I’m always so pleased to see friends grow up, learn things, become more at peace with themselves, and start lives of their own. Part of our conversation this morning was about how we’d both grown up in Christian homes and in parts of the country where being a Christian is assumed, and how it will be nice for me to live in a place where it’s the opposite, where it’s assumed one isn’t a Christian. I told my friend about how even though I haven’t really been to church in more than two years, there is an undeniable part of me that is fulfilled by spirituality, and for me that’s found in my specific faith. I’m looking forward to seeing what that turns into when I’m living in a new place.
Last time I wrote about how Alicia and I felt like we’re leaving dreams and plans unrealized here. While I still feel that way, and always will, I’m feeling more and more that this move gives us the chance at a fresh start, to make life entirely into what we want it to be. It feels a little bit like the ultimate freedom. There are never any truly blank slates, but maybe this move is as close as we can get.
I was also telling my friend this morning, and another friend a couple weeks ago, about how I’ve felt over time that I have less and less to say. I don’t write much anymore, I don’t feel the need to be an activist for any cause even when there are things that sadden me about our world, and I don’t often feel a desire to do anything other than be kind to people I interact with, to be peaceful, and to not add noise and anger to an already too noisy and too angry world.
So this is where I am six days before leaving Charlotte and moving to Seattle: all I want to do is have a family, be a kind and loving person, and make peaceful places for people to come home to after spending too much time in the noisy, angry world. I’ve been working on the first two for a while, now I get to go work on the third. I’m looking forward to it.