In less than two months, Austin and I (oh-and a baby) will pack up our things and move to start another chapter in our marriage and in our lives. Transitions are hard, there is no doubting that, but this one will be especially tricky as we adjust to many changes at once.
There is an extra bit of sadness as I leave Lancaster for the next 4+ years. This small city and its surrounding countryside was a place of great healing after I left Virginia and all the bad decisions and sadness that festered there. Don’t get me wrong, college was great, but I could not shake the bad parts until I finally left and moved here to start over, reinvent, and finally slow down.
The other day during an afternoon walk around the block, I starting thinking back to those first weeks here in Lancaster. I had no job lined up, knew only a handful of people, could hardly get to the grocery store without google maps, and yet there was an instant peace that filled my soul as I unpacked my bags. I will always connect that feeling to this place; a feeling of letting go, of stillness, lightness, belonging, and ultimately of forgiveness.
This is not just about leaving friends, family, my post college residence, the place I fell in love with my husband, or where I developed my professional career. Lancaster represents a reinvention of self and because of that, I am forever grateful. The tears I have and will shed over this goodbye is simply a testament to a respect for a place that allowed me to change.
I know I will be back someday. These quaint city streets and stretches of neighboring farmland will be here when I return. For now I move forward to the adventures yet to come. Despite its challenges, change is good. I welcome this new life in Philadelphia with open arms, remembering Lancaster and holding it close to me as part of who I am and who I’ll always be.