Things I haven't done in a year (or more):
- Driven a car
- Worn high heels
- Eaten a mango
- Gone swimming
- Seen the ocean
- Hugged my mother
- Seen any of my family (minus David and Laura and Jonathan)
- Heard Cuban Spanish
- Drank Cuban coffee
- Eaten croquettas or pastelitos.
If I am not mistaken, all of those things are integral to Miami life. I miss home very badly. But I love it here so very very much. We both have grown in unpredictable ways and we are no longer the same people. That should be fine, because I'm sure Miami is not the same city. It's a place that is constantly new, constantly building, trying new things, expanding. We won't fit in the same way we did before, and it wouldn't be right for us to try either.
We can't wait to see old friends and pick those relationships back up in a new way, but things are going to be different. We went away from home in our early twenties, a season of intense life change. Everyone else in our generation is going through those huge changes. People are getting first girlfriends, getting married, having babies. People are deciding careers, pursuing grad school, moving on from first jobs. People are getting fat, loosing weight, realizing we are not teenagers anymore. Siblings and younger friends are graduating high school, leaving home for the first time, testing the waters of more complex college coursework. There are not many other seasons in life where two quick years can make such a difference.
It's hard to handle it at first. Ours is a generation of nostalgia. We like retro everything. Toy Story 3 made us cry our eyes out. We constantly post "Remember the 80's/90's?" picture posts about old toys, candy and TV shows. It's hard to swallow the idea of things coming to an end as long as you believe that the past held the best memories you'll ever have. It's not true. The best is yet to come. As long as you hold on to that, everything is an awfully big adventure.
|The pond in University Parks|
Yesterday, Anthony and I went to the park. We sat by the pond and watched the little brown ducks dive in and out of the water under the brilliant sunlight. Anthony had read a quote from one of our favorite books:
"We went often that autumn to our local pub, The Lamb and Flag. There, amidst the dark throwers we would sit in the corner...and talk. There was a sort of realization in us that it was we two again. All this grey magic of Oxford would fade away, but we, we should go on, we should be together, back to back if need be. In us in all these talks was the sense that the time was ending, the Oxford time, and was ending, we felt, at the right moment. " A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
We felt it applied to us in an eerily similar way and we sat there quietly, a little sad about leaving behind such a beautiful place as Oxford. We forgot the future adventure for a minute. We still can't see very far past that one-way ticket back to Miami. Then we were reminded. A sweet older lady asked to share our bench. I had been secretly checking out her classy hair and awesome outfit from across the pond. We struck up a conversation and she was very excited to find that we were headed into ministry. "Oh!" She said, leading forward and looking me straight in the eye "I'm so glad! That's the best job you could ever have, a pastor's wife!" Her husband joined us and told us cool stories about men he has worked with whose names I recognized from our bookshelves. Men like John Stott and Martin Lloyd Jones. At the end of the conversation, the wife said again, "I'm so jealous of you, you're just starting out!"
|Anthony with the older couple|
That meeting was sufficient to kill my 'leaving Oxford' pity party. It won't always be easy, but like the old Tony Bennett song, I really believe "The best is yet to come."