The Bay Area


Hello!

It's officially two and half weeks since I've moved from Redding, California, to the Bay Area. I had hoped to have been in Leicester, England by the 15th, but I feel that there has been so much grace and God's hand over the timing of everything. Considering that I was planning on being home for only two weeks, the Lord knew that I needed more time than that. I'm starting to realize that the timing of securing housing in Leicester has also been such great timing, too, because if I had left when I planned to leave, I'm not sure if I would have any place to stay. All I'm waiting for is my Visa Decision and even that brings comfort in knowing that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be-- there is no rush. 

Going back home, I have gotten more insight to my family and their day-to-day life for more than three days would have given me because three days is the most I would have been able to spend with my family at a time while I lived in Redding. It's really cool getting to learn the knick-knacks and routines that my family has, which I am incredibly grateful to get to be a part of. There's a great difference being exposed to people and places that aren't a part of our "regular" schedules. 

I've noticed the subtlety of how much things have changed in my parents and younger sister's personalities; the growth that I see in my nieces and nephews; and the way my own hometown has gone reconstruction with torn down and rebuilt streets and buildings. I find that in some of my reflections driving through the East Bay, the City, and revisiting places that I've spent so much time in have changed. It's almost as if these towns and places represent how much the people in my own life has change. 

I have to emphasize the depth of how much I've realized things have changed since I left Redding.  Not to say that things have to be put on pause when I leave a place, but there is some comfort going back to familiar places. The Bay Area is home. My family is home. I have been in Redding for the past seven years, but it wasn't until 2015 that I've officially (all-year-round) started living in Redding. So coming back, I've felt like to some degree that everything was going to be the same. In some instances, things are, but there were conversations that happened that I wasn't a part of; trips that I didn't get to attend; and family/extended family birthdays that I didn't get to celebrate. These walls and the seats of cars have witnessed life these past few years that I never could. It may sound dramatic and I'm sure that different walls and places have witnessed how much I've changed, which needed to happen, but I'm processing this new perspective of time and the lives we get to be a part of. 

In the places that I've gotten to revisit like the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Univeristy Avenue in Berkeley, and the Barnes and Nobles in El Cerrito. Other people have occupied the aisles and tables I once stood in, walked through, and revisited countless times before. It's different and I'll count on things changing even after I leave. 

Change can be scary, but it's also necessary. I've changed. My family has changed. My hometown has changed. It's a part of life and I feel that when it's officially time to get on that plane to Leicester-- I'm excited to see what other changes will take place. 

Much Love,

MJ

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