Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Year Since I've Left Lincoln

It's a year exactly since I left Lincoln and ventured forth to move to Atlanta.  I remember quite vividly the deep feeling of uncertainty and loss I felt.  I went up to the top of the capital building and I gazed out over that city that I will always love and treasure.  It was where I went to college, where I came out and found myself.  And I stood up there and took it all in. Then I got in my car and drove away.  It was a very emotional day, and by the time I got to my parent's house I was drained. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to leave, I just knew where my grad school was and I knew what I wanted to be.  
Today, I'm kind of amazed at how far I've come in a year. So I've decided to be superbly sappy and go back over what's happened in my life since then.
Dad helped me move down to Atlanta, and when we came to move in, the apartment was a mess.  It got cleaned up, but it still wasn't where I wanted to live.  I put up with it.
I met my friend D during orientation and he took me to my first Episcopal Mass. The pew arobics were a bit complicated, but he started me on my adventures into crossing myself, singing Psalm tunes, and bowing at the right time.  I tried to come to every Wednesday evening Evensong at school.  I found that I really love saints and the Eucharist.  If you feed me spiritual food and tell me about those who have come before me in the faith, I find it hard to resist. 
This process of Episcopalization was aided by meeting Br. K.  I was actually at first nervous to talk to him because he was the guy in the funny robes, and I figured he was some super pious dude. Turned out we have similar amounts of piety, and I came to monk meetings. That's where I began to love Compline and started learning about Daily Offices. 
Then I found love at the monk house kitchen table.  Br. J was fascinating to me, and I fell for him while we were looking at a magazine of Catholic chatchkies. Go figure.  Then he invited me to go to a haunted house with him that weekend. We ended up going to two and it goes down in my personal history as the coolest first date ever.  After that I had to stop counting dates because we were together every single day.  It was kind of ridiculous, but it worked for us and still does. 
J came with me to Thanksgiving in Iowa, and the day before Thanksgiving I got my legal name change. J was with me at the courthouse as I got the documents signed by the judge.  There was much to be thankful about. 
I started talking to the bishop and looking at Episcopal churches, and I was recieved into the Episcopal Church on the second Sunday of Advent.  I had been a pill that day, and J and I had an argument right beforehand, but when I came up to be recieved, J made sure he was right by my side.
A little while later, he was right there as I took my first shot of T. 
The next semester I joined the Episcopal Studies program at school and got assigned to one of the best little churces ever.  I love all that I do there and Fr. B is absolutely amazing.
J and I also just moved into an apartment together.  It's beautiful and amazing.  I feel more grounded having a place to come home to that feels like home. I am finally settling in.  
I've also met probably some of the most incredible people and I feel extremely blessed. 
I am connected to my community in ways I never imagined.
I miss Lincoln, and I will always be connected to Lincoln.  It was where I found myself. But since coming to Atlanta, I've been able to be myself in ways I never imagined.  And that's great too.  I think I can call this place home for a while, maybe not forever, but for long enough. 
It's a good life. 

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