So this is it, I guess. The rainy season has begun. I, like most normal people, don't very much like rain for days and days on end. But, being that the rain here is going to come down whether I like it or not, I've decided to at least try and make a paradigm shift here. Instead of letting the wet dreariness of the oncoming season get to me, I am going to learn to love life in the rain.
First step. Buy Rain boots. Check. (Ok, not really.. these would cost me approximately 20% of my monthly income. But look at them. SOOOO pretty. I want. I neeeed....)
I think you all know how much I love Ingrid Michaelson. If you don't. I'll tell you right now. I love her. A lot. She has an irresistibly sweet voice, which flutters like a dove across the darlingist tunes in indie music. And her lyrics are poetry. Wistful, melancholic poetry sprinkled like sour sugar over gummy candy melodies. Her music just hits this string in my angsty, wistful, hopelessly romantic heart. I listen to her little voice and her little ukelele and I want to dance and cry and laugh and sigh all at once. She was in Seattle on Monday and, being the penniless newcomer that I am right now, I waited to buy my tickets until I had sufficient monies and friends to invite along. In the meantime, the show sold out.*
Anyway... there is a point to this sad story. Over the course of my first few weeks here, God has given me countless bits of confirmation that this is where he's called me. That this city, this apartment, this internship-- all of these are exactly where I'm supposed to be. One of those affirmations came this morning, when the pastor at the church I've been visiting preached a message on Acts 20-- Paul's tearful goodbye to the Ephesian elders, the friends he lived amongst for three years, dear friends he knows he will never see again.
But just in case a whole sermon on the idea of moving just because God's called you somewhere else wasn't enough of a cosmic nod in my direction. God threw a little icing on the cake for me. The 50 year old (I note age here because my father is 50 and pretty much just listens to James Taylor and Toby Keith) pastor began the message with a quote from an Ingrid Michaelson song (and blogged about it, I might add).
A nudge and a wink. Oh you're funny, Lord.
Did I also mention that this weekend was homecoming back at the alma mater? And that, though I certainly hope that I will at least see the faces of my best friends again soon, I'm beginning to come to terms with the knowledge that the relationships I had in college are different now. Stronger, I really think. But much more difficult.
It is hard for me to read the end of Acts 20 without crying. I read 21:1 and the words "after we had torn ourselves away from them" hit me square in the chest. Every time I hang up the phone these days, I'm on the verge of tears. And yet I know--without any doubts--that I am supposed to be in this place. That there is work to do here. Relationships to build. People to love and care for.
One final anecdote and I'll make my point: on Friday, I mentioned to my supervisor that I was really enjoying the people I had met at my church, that the women in my bible study seemed very genuine and deep and that I was looking forward to new friendships outside the theatre. He responded that that was something he envied about people of faith. That they could move anywhere and find a niche within weeks. I've been thinking about this some. And about today's message on the role of the Christian as a sojourner, constantly moving, changing, adapting.
Though I see the seeds of a life here, I can't help but feel a little bit like a carpetbagger.
As always, Ingrid asks what's on my road-weary heart:
They say that home is where the heart is I guess I haven't found my home And we keep driving round in circles Afraid to call this place our own
They say there's linings made of silver Folded inside each raining cloud Well, we need someone to deliver Our silver lining now
And are we there yet? Home, home, home
And, in Ephesians 2, Paul answers:
For he himself is our peace... Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundations of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit.
*I am almost as devastated by this as I am by the fact that I passed up on Ben Folds tickets with the rationale that though he's one of my favorites, I've seen him twice before and can't really spare 30 dollars right now. Then I found out that he's playing tuesday's (now sold out) show with The Seattle Symphony. (Whyyyyyy, LORD, why!?)
I'll ignore the fact that the song of the day fails to punctuate correctly. It's a good song and a good fit for my life right now, so it merits a post. But a note to Adam Young, the handsome face behind Owl City: next time you address a second party in the title of a song, use a comma. Thanks to you and those grammar ruffians Peter (no comma!?) Bjorn (another guy--not Peter's last name!) and John-- hipsters everywhere are bound to be terribly uninformed about comma rules.
I've now been in my apartment in Seattle for one full week.
Though I hear It's bound to get grey any day now, I've seen the sun pretty much every day this week. The one day it did rain, my roommate asked me if I'd heard the thunder. There had been approximately one clap. I've been told that rain here doesn't come in dumps but is a constant drizzle for six months. Downpours like we're used to in the southeast make headlines.
2. The restaurant business here is serious stuff.
For me, this means two things: a. I need to get a part time job to afford to eat like the foodie that I am. and b. I can't get a part time job because I don't have 20+ years of waitressing experience.
3. The coffee business is also serious stuff.
I get looks of disdain whenever I go into a coffee shop and just order a small "drip" coffee. Which, fyi, is the Seattle way to order a regular coffee and is also the only cup of coffee I can afford right now. If you REALLY want disdain, just ask for a small coffee and they'll look at you, raise their eyebrows, and repeat your order back as "small drip?" (Subtext: "Where are you from that you don't know that drip is the word we use for the inferior coffee that cheap, sad out-of-towners like you drink). It didn't take me long to learn how baristas roll in this city. It also didn't take me long to realize that there's another part time job that I'm unqualified for.
4. Driving in this city is damn near impossible. Even with a GPS.
As it is, I'm not a fantastic driver. With an insurance record that includes not one, not two, but THREE run-ins with parked cars, I'm doing my best to keep my carelessness in check here. But this city is no help. Yesterday, it took me approximately 45 minutes to get to a lake that is only 3 miles away. With incredibly poor signage, turnabouts in place of stop signs, turn only lanes that come out of nowhere (and always in rush hour traffic), and highway on-ramps that seem like innocuous streets until you realize you can't turn around for another 2 miles(!!), the roads here are befuddling. I'm sure I'll figure out the lay of the land soon enough, but for now I've gotten quite used to the sound of the Garmin chiming "recalculating."
5. Cute/Geeky/Artsy/Mountainy Men abound here.
My mom and I went down to Pike Place Market before she left on Friday and I could barely believe my eyes. Cute. Boys. Everywhere. I asked my roommate about the phenomenon and she told me that the biggest industries here are dot coms and software companies (Amazon, Google, Microsoft) and jet engineering (Boeing), all of which are male-dominated industries. Of course, I went to an opening night in my industry last night and every good looking man I saw had another good looking man on his arm.. so I doubt too much will change in my love life. But after four years at a college where the male female ratio was 40/60, it's always fun to look ;)
As for my transition, I'm settling in nicely. I start my internship on Tuesday and couldn't be more excited to get back to work. The staff I've met so far at the Theatre seem leaps and bounds better than the nightmarish management I was up against last year and it seems like there are going to be a lot of exciting things that I'll get to do and learn in the arena of theatre education this year! I am, of course, terrified about the prospect of paying bills and supporting myself financially on an intern's wages, but I continue to hope in the promise that God will open the right doors and provide for me despite my fears. Thank you all so much for your prayers, comments, and phone calls! More than anything else right now, I'm missing the nearness of friends and family, but you all have been wonderful support even from miles and miles away. Know that I appreciate it and can't wait to keep you posted on my new adventures as they come.