A year ago, I was absolutely terrified to leave Columbus, OH. I recall a dream I had last June in which I was in a room with many people; there was a small girl that resembled me as an 8 year old. She was sitting on the ground with her knees gathered up so that her chin was resting on them. She asked to stay in Columbus. Columbus was familiar and full of people that know and love me; it makes sense that leaving across the country away from my undergrad home would be difficult. Pieces of my heart clung to Ohio last year and were not prepared to leave. I kept telling myself, "You have to leave in order to come back. You can come back but for now you will experience something new."
This week, I make the trek back to the Midwest; I will once again live in Bexley, OH. My heart longs to stay here in Berkeley. I want to continue making (and drinking) macchiatos and grabbing fresh vegetables from Monterey Market. I want to see the water of the Bay sparkle as the sun sets in the horizon. I want to walk through the streets of Berkeley that are adorned with greenery and flowers; I want to be able to stop for a second to sniff the sweet aromas held in between colorful petals. I want to stay out too late dancing with my friends here. I want to cling on to the daily routines I have here in the Bay. I don't want to put my life here on pause; but it's happening and the change is soon.
Does this mean that I love Columbus any less? Absolutely not. I know that my experience will be wonderful and I cannot wait to be surrounded by the loving support that I have in family and friends in Ohio. This summer will wrench itself into my heart; not only will I be tested in ways I've never imagined in working and learning at Nationwide Children's Hospital, but I will be able to spend time with amazing people who are important to me. It will be a great breather outside of seminary community while being a clinical pastoral challenge. I cling to this future because I feel called to aide people in their time of trauma; I hope it is as fulfilling as I have imagined and felt in the past.
I am going to have indescribable experiences and part of that is why I am holding on to my Berkeley life that I have established here. Luckily, my narrative in Columbus will live on and Berkeley will hold a place for me to come home to.
Here's to the knowns and the unknowns, on both of which I cling. Here's to the beauty and familiarity of both Columbus and Berkeley. I am grateful that these places both feel like home now; my heart continues to splinter as it holds memories of Fort Collins, Columbus, London, D.C., and now the Bay Area. What is next for this ever expanding heart?