In a few short days, it will be two months since I took up residence in Georgia, four months since I took a trip to the area to investigate potential homes and six months since I made the pitch to my bosses to let me do my job in a new, more dynamic way. It’s been a whirlwind of work and checking off my moving “to do” list – and still – I’ve not visited the DMV (gulp).
In just two months’ time, I’ve adapted to: fried chicken being an item on almost every menu and fighting the almost too-powerful urge to order it or finish the ginormous-sized portions they serve down here; an abhorrent lack of recycling in the city – don’t even get me started on that shamefulness; the glorious public rail system MARTA where I am keeping track of time and money saved so I can win some kind of imaginary “Best MARTA Rider” award no one is granting, and the pangs of jealousy with every adorable pooch that passes me in the park because it seems everyone has one BUT ME just like everyone here seems to have a lake house at some lake I’ve never heard of and yet I suddenly want a house by a forgettable lake. All of this dawned on me during my walk this morning, the walk that has become my new daily routine followed by the stop for coffee at one of three coffee locales before settling into work for the day. I was just struck by how easy it has been to take on the mantle of a new southern life!
After all, decisions on what we leave behind are just as deliberate as what we bring with us. I left behind an exhaustion that was equal parts work and isolation. I cut the last tie to the home that broke my heart when I really didn’t have much heart left. And I abandoned the vision that I’d wind up settling into a town just miles across the water from where I grew up.
But all of that is fine by me. Maturity demands we let go instead of clutching to broken things as a child would. And to be honest folks, that hasn’t always been my strong suit. Knowing the difference between tenacity and stubbornness will always be my great internal struggle. The fight in me that kept me going during my case against Marco, is what had me hold on to a condo that hated me, way longer than I should have.
Georgia thus far has been about constructing a new reality with the things, people and passions I chose to take with me. I brought with me my passion for victim advocacy and continue to take steps toward creating an iteration of that work suitable for my new life and new state although Georgia doesn’t exactly make that easy. I have all of my dear friends in my heart and my head (and my phone) such that it doesn’t matter what state I live in – we are as intertwined as we ever were.
I brought my love of going to concerts and Zumba class, not necessarily together, and a passion for trying new restaurants and cuisines.
And I’ve got hope – beautiful, bountiful hope! – as I have already witnessed multiple signs this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. It’s good to feel hopeful for it almost always brings with it joy and love, two things I most definitely don’t mind seeing in ginormous-sized portions, Georgia.