I just watched and episode of The Office. And I cried.
It is the one where Michael Scott, the boss, leaves. Ironically, he too moves to Colorado, but from Pennsylvania instead of California. He hates goodbyes, and so tells everyone that he is leaving the day after he actually is, and tells most people in the office goodbye in his own secret and undetected way. I cried most of the episode.
It's been a bit of an odd day emotionally. In the morning, I kept on thinking about how happy I was living in Colorado, how pretty it is here, etc. Then, I got to see a friend from high school. And I cried. Because, as I drove away, I realized how much I appreciated her in my life. And when I got home from work I got a note in the mail from one of my old roommates. And I cried. Because I realized how much I stinkin' miss her.
I didn't go into work until noon because Aimee was in town for a very short while and I wanted to see her. She has been living abroad since just after graduating college, working in Cambodia with an organization that combats human trafficking in South East Asia. An aunt of hers lives in Broomfield, CO, which is just north of Denver. We met halfway and had some decadent pancakes at Snooze.
Aimee had asked me about my journey to Colorado, what got me interested in it, how I felt like God lead me there, my long journey of obedience to go East. It was great to catch up, to talk about living abroad in both Cambodia and Colorado, what it means to steward our money and time well, how we both want to be married, what the Lord is leading us to now as well as possibilities in the future.
As we talked over a plate of fancy pancakes and coffee, she said to me, "Tamsen, it sounds like you are really happy. I'm so glad!" Well, she is right. I am happy. I thought of that even this morning when I was driving to see her. I picked up an old dream and moved to Colorado. It may seem crazy, but I left a house of wonderful roommates, a church that I could not love more, and a job that on most days I liked as long as the crazy boss didn't yell at anyone. All these things were left for something new and unpredictable. I followed Jesus straight to Colorado.
And now, I love my roommates. I am so thankful for Matt and Amber and the way they put up with my eccentric habits and taking over the kitchen table for the weekend to sew. I love my church. I am so thankful for the way they love people and show the grace that Jesus gives. I love my job. I am so thankful that my boss (as well as the others ) are kind and patient with the new girl.
But it still doesn't mean that I don't desperately miss the things of home. My family, the house my parents live in, the way that the tractor from the peach orchard wakes me up on summer as it rolls past my bedroom on the corner, the way that there is never enough room in the kitchen for my sisters and I to talk with our parents as they cook dinner in the kitchen. I miss the ecstatically nerdy conversations my family gets into, because every one of us is excited and curious about practically anything and everything.
I miss the Bay Area, the morning fog and overcast days. I miss my roommates on Robin Ave., our silly little dog and smelly rabbit. I miss the spontaneity of living with two ENFPs, walking to Oliver's Market after dark because we wanted dessert, and talking about how Tama Rama's in downtown Cotati most likely is a drug front, not a creepy ice cream shop. I miss getting hugs from Holly and Eve at church, and the cute way that our pastor's second child never seems to walk anywhere, but instead he does a wide-eyed run with a huge grin on his face.
Obedience is a strange thing. It brings mixed feelings of joy and sadness. As we say yes to one thing, we must in turn say no to another. As I said hello to Colorado, my goodbye to California was lurking over my shoulder. As much as I wanted to skip it altogether, like the way Michael did, it was good to close that chapter of my life. I am glad that I didn't. Most days are good because I know that where I am is undeniably where God wants me to be--not once have I doubted that. But on days when you miss your home(s), it makes being joyfully obedient a bit harder.
Obedience is the road to freedom.