Earlier this week, Facebook memories reminded me that it’s been four years since we moved to the mid-atlantic.
That number is pretty significant in many personal and worldly cases:
Four years since we got married…
Four years since the last Olympics…
Four years since the last presidential election…
But I made another realization about four year milestones in my life since graduating from college.
In both places I have lived, it has taken four years each time to establish friendships and truly feel rooted. FOUR YEARS.
I moved to Michigan right out of college in 2007 to start a new job. I had been surrounded by people my own age and it was so easy to have deep friendships while taking the journey through that school experience. However, the reality outside of the bubble of college did not offer the same relationships, at least not in the same time frame.
Of course, I made friends as I established myself in my new home, but it took some time and required me to step out of my comfort zone many times.
I remember around that four year mark, beginning to feel that I could be rooted in that place and make it my home for a long period of time…And then a year later, I was engaged, married and had moved across the country.
Of course, life changes in a split second, but this meant I had to start the process all over again in a new place. Thankfully we had friends we moved in with, which helped in those first few months. The other help this time around was having an extroverted husband who could walk into a room and have friends in 5 minutes (or less)!
But it still has taken time. I’ve read many articles about trying to make friends after college or what it’s like to make friends in your 30’s. Clearly, it’s more challenging for many of us. There are so many factors and elements outside of our control, which create the formula for trust, deep conversation, and support. And of course, I have the friendships made in childhood, teen years and college, which I desire to maintain, although that has its own set of challenges.
Sometime in the last week or so, I’ve realized a few things:
- I don’t need to use Google maps to get to a handful of my friends’ homes (And I need to use it to get to many places).
- When I visit friends, I don’t have to engage in small talk (a huge relief for this introvert)!
- I have local friends who trust me enough to help in their time of need, and I have local friends I can lean on in challenging times.
I anticipate we will live here longer than four years, but I also know there’s never a guarantee. I am not sure if I feel less anxious about how much time it takes me to establish life in a new place, but at least I recognize that it’s a process.
Whether four years or 40 years, these verses from Psalms give me comfort in the waiting of this life, knowing that He is with me through it all:
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:13-14