today i'm feeling awfully restless. maybe it's because i was at work for 8 hours. maybe it's because reality has slapped me in the face. most likely though, it's because this past week i got to get away with my boy best friend and spend 4 days up north, in a place we both call home.
every time i come back to southern california after a little getaway trip with T, it takes me a few days to settle back in. the drive back down the 5 is filled with apprehension, knowing that we're about to face real life head on again - school, work, friends, responsibilities, obligations, the never ending list of things to do. it's only been two days, and already i'm on the verge of feeling drained and absolutely beat.
when we got up north late sunday night, we both walked in the house so energized and excited, despite the fact that the clock ticked near 2am. the house was quiet and dark, yet so warm and welcoming. my mom had left us a plate of cookies and a welcome home note on the counter. travis deeply inhaled and said, 'this is one of my favorite smells.' home smells of escape and refreshment. absolutely nothing could dampen our time up there.
we love the rainy days and the wide open spaces. the endless views, whether it's toward the majestic snow-capped sierras or toward the clear sacramento valley. we love being surrounded by family and finding the time to explore different coffee shops and take long drives to see old friends. we love getting away from the traffic, the bad air, the endless noise, and the hectic pace of life.
to be completely honest with you, there's not much about southern california that i love. for a while, i saw it through rose-colored lenses - everyone fantasizes about beautiful socal, don't they? but after living here for three years, i know without a doubt that i could never spend the rest of my life here, or raise a family here. my soul craves quiet and peace, to be surrounded by God's creation. it is the people down here that have made this place feel like home.
to leave our friends and our family down here makes my heart heavy. we've built a community here, and it is a place where i've been given so many opportunities to grow and to explore. i wouldn't trade my relationships down here for anything. but despite the people, my heart still dreads coming back here. last night, i parked my car on the street and walked toward my apartment complex feeling completely unsettled and uneasy. i don't feel safe here. i don't feel like i belong. this place is not my heart's desire. i truly don't believe that it's the place God has for me, for us. it's been a place of learning and growing, changing and stretching, but it is not home. home is where my love is.
home is by his side, wherever that may be. as much as i love northern california, i hate it when he's not there with me. southern california would not be a welcome place for me if it wasn't for him. for the time being, he makes where i am now endurable, because i couldn't imagine a place without him. no matter where the Lord may take us, i know we'll be side-by-side - and that makes any place the place where i should be.