Chris and I have recently had the pleasure of honeymoon planning, which has opened my mind up to all of the incredible places I'd like to visit. We've been tossing around ideas about living for short stints in foreign countries and volunteering here and visiting there. We've been building different versions of our paradise.
It has me thinking about where I really want to live. If we weren't tied to a jobs and residences, where would we go? What would our next step look like?
I'd go where my people are. Not just some of them, though. Where all of the people I love are is my paradise. Even though I strongly dislike winter, if I knew all the people I love could live within a few minutes of my front door, I'd bear months and month of winter. I'd don all sorts of coats and hats and I'd walk over to their front doors and knock my glove-clad hand on them.
For me, home and happiness are much more clearly defined by people than geography.
During the last two years, I've had the absolute joy of living in a mini paradise. You see, all at once, during the summer of 2013, my brothers moved to Atlanta, I met a great new friend, Megan and I met wonderful Chris. And then, Megan, Duke and Sam all moved to Melly and my street. And then I fell in love with Chris. And then? Our friends Katie & Austen moved to our street. And before I knew it, seven people I loved dearly were all within reach. Not just within reach, but within a half mile walk.
And I started thinking that if I could just convince another couple hundred people to move to our little neighborhood, I'd stay here forever. We could bunk up if we ran out of space, I think.
Life has been so good during the last two years. Time has suspended in a way; it has felt like much longer than two years and has become a defining period of our lives. And yet, it has been a blink. It feels like just yesterday Duke & Sam moved here and it's hard for me to fathom that things are already changing.
But, change, they say, is good for us. Which I'm trying to remember as Sam moves home to Indiana and this season comes to a close. He's starting a new job and getting to live in the same city as his beautiful girlfriend, Abbey.
I am thrilled for him. And I am so excited to see what adventures are coming for our group of friends.
But, with every bit of joy I have for the next season comes a little bit of sadness. I can't imagine not living and working with Sam. I am so grateful for the last two years we've had as friends and housemates. We've grown closer, learned to understand one another as adults and he has become one of my very best friends.
So today, I'm pausing to reflect on what the last two years have meant. They have been, in no uncertain terms, lovely. They have prepared us for the next chapter of our lives and taught us who were are. They have been, at times, idyllic. And I couldn't feel more grateful for every minute of them. It is with absolute gratitude that we send him off into the next season. So, here's to you, Sam, and the last two years we've had you in Atlanta.