I'm going to get a little philosophical here...but I've been doing a lot of reflecting this summer. And as my time in the Midwest comes to a close very soon - I have realized a few things.
When I learned we would be returning to the Midwest back in March I was ecstatic. I knew this time would go extremely fast, it would be very full, and I would get to strengthen my relationships with family.
All that has been accomplished.
I also wondered, "will it feel weird to be back?"
I've realized that I have changed a lot since I last called this place my "home". Grown is probably a better word choice than "changed".
This time has made me feel as though during my time away - I was painting the outline of a painting. Understanding what was going on - staying in touch with where everyone was it - but you don't really get to "fill in the lines" until you are face to face with those people.
I really felt like I've been able to get to know my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews much better this summer - and have grown much closer to each and every one of them.
When 20 year old Abby hopped in the U-Haul a mere 9 years ago...I don't remember crying. Probably because I was naïve and excited for the future. Also because I had never really left home before - and didn't realize what "home" held. I didn't realize what it felt like to spend holidays away and miss birthdays and reunions.
Now I know that feeling very well. I was able to play little catch up this summer and be fully present for my sister's wedding, the 4th of July celebrations, and just time with everyone.
In a few weeks, we will pack up our cars and head back home. This time my goodbyes won't be as naïve. I'm going to be honest and say there will probably be more tears shed this time. (and that is hard for me to admit - as I cry about 2-3 times/year maybe) But I also know that everyone will always be a plane ticket or FaceTime or phone call away.
This post may have some scratching there heads - as we had ample opportunity to summer to change our lives and make Fargo our forever home. It was a very difficult decision, but we have decided to return to our new "home" - Tucson. We have made it our home. We have made it our place. We have found friends who are like family.
I have about 2 weeks left in the Midwest, and I fully intend to drink in each moment as much as possible. Instead of tears or fear of saying goodbye - my heart is filled with extreme gratitude.