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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why Virginia?

"Why Virginia?" Is the question that I've most gotten in the last few days from those I work with. News broke Monday that I was leaving the store and heading up to Virginia, much to chagrin of many. I've had my store manager jokingly threaten to lock me in the store until I change my mind, among other things.

Now, as those of you who follow my exploits regularly know, I've been wanting to get back to Virginia since I had to leave there back in early October. It wasn't a very graceful exit (a blown out tire, a tow, a late-night hotel check-in, and misery will make anything less than graceful) and my arrival back in Alabama wasn't a favorite thing of mine.

But that's all about to be done. March 28th, I'm back in the place where I belong. This past weekend I traveled up there to close the deal on a place I wanted to rent -- and I closed that deal. It was a fun weekend, but a brutal drive there and back.

Since I got back, I've fielded the titular question a lot. Here's why.

1. Virginia has people I love dearly in it.

I have friends and family (not blood, but just as meaningful if not more) there, and being close to them is a very good thing. It's worth just about any price, any expense, any effort, to get back there as this weekend proved -- it's a 12-13 hour drive up there and another 12-13 back from Alabama and I did it just to close the deal on a place I'm RENTING.

Since I'll be nearby again, I can help out. I can show up randomly and make a day of things. I can be a part of something I desperately love being a part of. That's more than I can say for my time in Alabama, which isn't bad but certainly isn't fulfilling in the same way.

2. I'm converting to Catholicism.

This Easter, as a matter of fact. Doing so in Virginia, where this journey of mine started, is absolutely crucial. It's necessary and it's completely right to do it there. Being a Catholic in Alabama is a joke, really -- yes, there are Catholics here and I have a decent church nearby I like, but I don't love that church like I do the one where this all started.

No, that church has a special place in my heart. The people there have a special place and this doesn't work unless I start it all off in that place. I'm a Catholic noob and, even after my conversion goes through, I'll still be a rookie at this. I have SO MUCH to learn and figure out but I'll do it in the best place possible.

That church in Virginia, that place is where this started and where I want to begin this journey. I'd like it to be my spot always, but we'll see if that's in the cards.

3. I keep going back there.

God has made this all work, let's make that VERY clear. I didn't predict my current job taking me back to Virginia at all when I began it -- I work retail, after all, it's not exactly glamorous or known for mobility, but this worked somehow. I got the money, somehow. My car didn't die, somehow. I found a place, somehow.

And that somehow belongs strictly to God. In my six months of southern exile, I have grown to really appreciate the way he works, even if it's frustrating. He's answered many prayers (he's kept my best friend from suffering serious health issues, among other things), he's given me a glimpse of things here and there, and he's allowed me to actually trust him -- which, if you've been reading this blog for years (if you have, you are a saint), you know how I struggled in the past and still struggle with trusting the big guy upstairs.

I'm a control freak. Trusting the all-knowing, all-powerful Father is difficult to do when I don't control things.

Still, I wouldn't be here without him. This doesn't work without God. God keeps taking me back to Virginia and this time (I hope) it's for good. I'm taking up every stake I have here in Alabama and moving it to Virginia.

This is my make or break play and I think I'm going to make it.

4. Virginia is where I'm at my best.

The best things I've done in my life, short and largely unspectacular as it is, has happened in Virginia. In that state I found an adopted family that means the world to me (actually, probably worlds). In that state, I went Primal and began a weight loss journey which ultimately led me to lose 133 pounds in only 11 months. In that state, I found Catholicism and got answers to questions I've had for years.

Is it a perfect place? No, but no place is on Earth. But that place is perfect for me I think and, for a traveler of many states (Air Force Brat), I'm glad I found one I actually like.

Are there more reasons? Oh, sure. I could be here all day typing out why I love that place. But those are the main one's above.

I'm heading back and I'm excited.

God bless everyone and thanks for reading.