Oklahoma. At least 21 hours away from anyplace I’ve called home. What am I doing here?
Last weekend, my best friend from college visited me in Oklahoma City. Right after her plane landed, I gave her the grand (and somewhat meandering) tour of the city, then took her to my house. It wasn’t until we walked through the front door that it occurred to me: we don’t have chairs around our dining room table. In fact, we don’t have much furniture in our living room at all. Our kitchen table is foldable, and our living room floor is covered with paintings that have yet to be hung.
Do I live here?
As I looked through my life through the eyes of a friend, I started to realize something – I haven’t yet committed to living here. I’m operating in a transitional state. I’ve been keeping everything just nice enough to get by, worried more about functionality than comfort.
Beyond the culture shock of teaching, we are also acclimating to an entirely new life. New places, new roads, new friends. Finally, it is starting to hit me: I will be in Oklahoma City for the next two years. This is my place, these are my roads, these are my people. I’m not just visiting — this is home.
Slowly, my housemates & I are starting to settle in. We finally rented a washer & dryer, and we are planning on buying real furniture this weekend. We spent time doing laundry & cleaning our kitchen & cooking a meal together. We are making a home together.
This year will be a big one in my life — it already has been. The past four months have felt like four lifetimes, and I know there is only more change to come. I’m exhausted but grateful. I’m so lucky to be here, to be sharing this experience with some incredible people — my friends & my students alike.
It’s time to recalibrate myself. I’m centered in Oklahoma now. I’m here for good.