"How do you feel?"

People have been asking me that question for a couple of months now, because there are so many changes going on, major changes, and life won't really settle into a new normal before autumn. Most of the time, I really don't know how to answer this question. This is unusual for me, but I really don't know how I feel these days. "Are you excited?" people ask. Well, yes, I think so. "Are you sad?" Yes, certainly. Closing my business was part of the plan, and the right decision for this time in my life, but it was a loss. I will miss my clients. I sometimes think that after nineteen years as a therapist, I was finally starting to get pretty good at it. As much as I look forward to the next career, and the excitement and challenge of launching that, I have some grief about the endings in all of this.

I will also miss my friends here in Seattle. I think friendship is my favorite form of relationship. I spend a lot of time on my friendships, and I already grieve the changes that will inevitably happen when I move nearly 3,000 miles away from my closest friends.

And... I do feel excited. In 2011, when I finished a graduate certificate in diaconal studies at Seattle University, I thought I would never want to go to graduate school again. I was exhausted and overworked at that point in my life, and much less healthy (both physically and emotionally) than I am now. I was tired of writing academic papers. I was ready to step away from the world of graduate school. And now, six years later, I don't feel any of those feelings. I look forward to learning new things, and making new friends in that learning environment. 

Finally, I'm excited about doing all of this with my husband Andrew. He's my greatest, closest friend, and this is an adventure we've never had together. We met in 1998 and became a couple in 1999, and all these years we've made our home in Seattle. Now we will step into an entirely new life in another part of the world, and that is a bright beacon of hope and promise for me during this time of transition.

Mostly, I feel fairly okay, stable, a little fragile, but not frail. I'm staying physically healthy, and we are moving through it. Someone asked me the other day, "What is your deepest hope for this time?" My answer: my deepest hope is that Andrew and I can receive this three-year experience on its own terms, as its own gift, and not merely as a transition to the life that awaits us when we return to Seattle in 2020. God is here, not elsewhere. This adventure is where God meets us.

I feel good.

 I know how she feels.

I know how she feels.