Just shy of two months from now, I leave Columbus for my indefinite travels.
I really am excited. And when I tell other people about it, they (usually) get excited for me, and that refreshes my own excitement.
However, it does mean that a chapter of my life’s book is drawing to a close, and I’ve been reviewing the CliffsNotes summary.
One word that keeps coming up is “disappointed.”
My time in Columbus hasn’t turned out like I expected. I moved here mainly to be closer to family and work on my book. Then my book was finished, and it’s kind of just…there. My relationship with my parents is…well, let’s just say we’re not any closer than before.
I’d actually hoped I would get involved in a tight-knit church community and make a ton of new friends and host dinner parties and maybe lead a Bible study or otherwise find a way to make myself useful in the church. I thought this would be where I’d meet “someone” and get married and “settle down” and finally feel like functional grown-up.
Instead, it seems I folded up into myself more than ever. All that mainly happened is that I got so tired. And maybe a little bitter.
Now I’m packing up and paring down and getting ready to uproot myself because once again I find myself without a place in the world or without a space in peoples’ lives. Everyone has their families, their spouses, their kids, their siblings, and I’m just sort of…floating along, as always.
I’m glad I left DC, and I suppose there was a reason that God did nudge me toward Columbus, but this place has worn me out. I’ve been more lonely here than I have been in a good long while, and certainly more than I ever experienced in my adult life.
Part of the reason I’m disappointed is because I probably could have done more, got involved in more activities, reached out to more people more often. Maybe I could have left town with less of a feeling of failure, and more like I had a bigger impact–or any impact at all. Just thinking about it, though, makes me feel frustrated and exhausted.
It doesn’t mean that nothing happened in the three years I’ve been here. Most of those things have been internal, and are difficult to explain. Regular readers of this blog might be able to identify a few–learning about my Myers-Briggs type and falling ridiculously in love with CS Lewis and finally pinning down some of the issues I had with my former church, to name examples. I learned more about my faith and myself, and deepened some existing relationships. I think I grew intellectually and I certainly found some new
It’s not that I’m not glad I had those experiences–I am. They just weren’t what I had in mind when I decided to move back to my home state. And they’ve made me a bit wary of having expectations about whatever comes next.
I’m sure my next, as-yet-unwritten chapter will make for interesting reading. I just haven’t quite recovered from the plot twist in this one.