My travel season adventures have officially come to a close. It was 8 weeks and just shy of 8,000 miles on the road, and I loved every minute! Lots of people have asked whether I’m glad it’s over or sad it’s over, and honestly, I’m neither. I soaked up every ounce of travel freedom, spending hours in a car that works (!) while playing Christmas music and talking with God and stopping every 5 miles to refuel on coffee. But I’m glad to be in one place today, not navigating multi-lane highways or standing behind a table in a gymnasium or wondering if the hair on the hotel pillow belongs to me or someone who is not me. I ended in the best way I’ve ever ended anything: having had just enough of travel, but not too much. I’m really grateful for that.
Which leads to everyone’s next question: What are you going to do now that it’s over?
Had I not been in this situation multiple times before, I might be freaking out right now. But there’s a high probability that I might be cooler than the coolest cucumber. True story. I know how hard I’m working to secure job opportunities. I also know that I’ve seen the Lord provide for me in ways I never could have anticipated in these scenarios in the past. And while it might seem like I just ended the 15th position of my post-collegiate career and am not employed at the 16th just yet, I’m trusting advice I garnered from the side mirrors of my vehicle:
“Items in the mirror are closer than they appear.”
How do I know that’s true? Because I know that’s true.
This year, on Halloween, I sat in a hotel room and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and wondered what in the world I was going to do with my life once travel season ended.
Until I remembered that exactly three years ago I also sat in a hotel room and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! and wondered what in the world I was going to do with my life once (a much different) travel season ended.
(I fully realize that this similarity of circumstances says something unfortunate about my nomadic nature, but let’s just move on and address that
in therapy another day.)
I came home from the road trip and had no idea that I’d be needed at home after my dad had unexpected heart surgery, or that the timing for helping out as an interim RD for Roberts afterward would be the perfect transition, or that after that I’d get invaluable experience as a photographer’s assistant and get to be a nanny for a family who became like family to me. I had no idea any of that was coming. It was way closer than it appeared when I came home from driving in a circle around the country and wondered what could possibly be next.
There are items that I can vaguely see in my side mirrors now. Writing, creating, getting married, having a family, putting down roots somewhere. There are times when they seem far off in the distance – or completely improbable to begin with – but I have a feeling that just like the rest of the unconventional transitions from season to season thus far, they are closer than they appear.
So I’m not freaking out about what I’m going to do next. At least not yet. And probably not ever. Because I’ve seen the Lord be so faithful and so present time and time again, and I don’t expect anything to be different this time around. Which means my “plan” is to work hard and wait patiently. That’s all I’ve got.
That, plus loving the holidays with a love that knows no bounds and maintaining the same level of coffee consumption I had on the road because something needs to remain constant, right?
I thought so, too.