We have written a lot about all that we will miss, and that is true. Very! But we are also full of anticipation! So, to balance the scales we want to do a short blog on a few of the things we anticipate:
- Seasons: I know I may regret this post come February, but right now, we are anticipating real seasons. A real fall, spring, and winter. We are excited that three digit temperatures will be but a memory. We have always missed the seasons, and have always complained about the heat. A friend of mine, Chris Marlow and I used to use the heat as our common point of complaint - we were good company in our misery. We would dream about milder climates together. Years ago he moved to his, and now we move to ours.
- Being an Anomaly: I know that sounds prideful to say. But I can't think of another way to say it. I've told Sarah, about many things, I need to figure out how to articulate this or that better, because I haven't had to. Where we come from, it seems people just get it (whatever the 'it' is I need to learn to articulate). I don't mean this in a condescending way, it's just that some of the choices we make and live by were consistent with the Austin culture, a culture that prides itself in being, well, Weird. We don't call it weird because we think it (whatever the "it" is) is weird, we call it weird because we recognize if one isn't infused, informed, and shaped by the Austin culture it will seem weird to the world around us. Maybe we will find this is not the case, and Austin and the people who are products of the city aren't as weird as we pride ourselves in being, but for now, this is something we anticipate.
- New Lessons: This goes along with the anomaly idea above. One of the problems with Austin is we think our way is the best and right way. And the truth is, if you base the success of a city on popularity, growth and economics, then there isn't much to refute our belief. However, the growing homogenous population proves this can't be true. Austin, like many cities and even philosophies is a good way of being, but not the only way of being. We are excited to learn a new way of being. A way that will contradict and run contrary to much of what we know. A way that will seem confusing to us at first, but a way that will truly and deeply enrich our way of being human. We aren't sure what these new lessons will look like, but we truly anticipate them, and will do our best to submit to them as a good thing.
- Living Slower: This will be, I'm sure, one of those new lessons. In Austin I idealized and romanticized this idea. But here it is a reality. Forget comparing Austin to the country, simply city-to-city (Austin to Peoria) is a good first step, the next step hopefully will be the country. It's been said that in the Northern states people live according to the seasons, in other words, there are parts of the year in which slow is not a goal to achieve, but slow is a way of being that is forced on you. There are two options: (1) submit to it and learn the beauty of it or (2) fight it and grow weary. My friend Adam, of Strangeland Brewery, describes the way he makes beer as "the way God intended it to be". I can't help but think, that maybe submitting one's life rhythm to the seasons of the year is also, "the way God intended it to be".
- Family: In leaving Austin we left many people that we love. We also left people that were like family to us: Luis and Zoe, the Vidals, the Northcutts, Kari, and a few others. In fact, these are people we would have taken with us. We would have loved to pack them up in Manny (15 passenger van) and take them with us. But that's not the way it works, unfortunately. Life changes. People move on. A friend of ours, Bethany Bauman had some amazing insight when she said, "It's always the hardest part (saying goodbye)- sometimes I wonder whether we're halfway mourning the loss through knowledge that if/when we return, it won't ever be the same." So true, and so hard to admit. I realize the people we are leaving will change, maybe not change, but will continue on their current life trajectory (that's a good thing). Sarah and I will change. Austin will change. And this change won't happen together, it will happen apart and therefore our commonality will be in our memories and commonly held values, but no longer in the lives we share, and that's hard to swallow. That is the hardest part about moving. But close our eyes, plug our nose, and jump in the deep end as we move to family. For years we have wanted to live by family. We have wanted our kids to have the opportunity I had as a child, we want them to grow up playing with their cousins on a regular basis. We want our memories to be built with our families. We want our story to be interwoven with the stories our biological families are living out. We want to shape them and want them to shape us. So while we will miss those we leave behind, we deeply anticipate living by our families and being shaped by them. Those from Austin will always be those who have helped architect the being and way of our family, their mark will always be on our lives and we are better for it. Now our families will pick up where they leave off, and we anticipate this new season of family.
So, here's to new tomorrow. Here's to the unknown. Here's to adventure, and here's to Living Ordinary Well!