Last Sunday, Meghan came to church with us.
She’s moving to Nashville soon and our mutual friend in New York connected us, so she visited our church and then grabbed brunch afterwards. Over a table of brioche French toast, we talked about what it’s like to relocate to a brand new place where you don’t have any friends, especially as a single gal.
“It’s hard,” she said, “to move to a town where no one knows my history or has any memories with me.”
I remembered that feeling all too well. Though I’ve lived in Nashville for almost five years, that emotion followed me for so long and was so pungent in my life that I can still smell it if I think long enough.
Those first few months (fine, the first twelve months at least) were some lonely days. I just wanted to say “remember when” instead of meeting new people every day. Starting over. “Hi, I’m Annie. I’m from Marietta, it’s outside of Atlanta. I’m an author…” blah blah same thing every time blah.
I was tired of it. All the new.
I wanted to think back to that funny moment with Heather. I wanted to look at Laura across a room when her ex-boyfriend walked into the party and roll our eyes because we lived that mess together. I wanted to celebrate Steve’s accomplishments because I had lived the hard days with him, too. I wanted to be surrounded by history even while making more of it.
But at the beginning? None of that exists. No house of memories in which to live. And it was harder than I ever imagined.
I didn’t realize how much I valued history with people until I didn’t have it.
My Nashville life was just full of bricks of friends and stories, laid around, waiting to be put together. And it takes time to build that house of memories.
All that went through my mind in the few minutes around that table as I thought about my five years in this town. How the toiling and stacking of bricks has paid off and how I deeply appreciate my history here now.
It takes time. Do you need to hear that today? Are you discouraged at your lack of history or lack of memories? It just plain takes time. And the courage to say yes to invites or opportunities and the extra courage to try again if you’ve been burned by a group or a person.
Are you looking for history with friends? For memories with people who live around you? (in)RL this weekend is a perfect opportunity to start building that house. Be brave. Show up. Build.
Can we pray for you as you are looking for history and memories and community? Let us know.
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