Home is…wherever I’m with you (or get a job)

Today is April 18, which means it has been 20 days since I last wrote here. It also means that I have less than 30 days until I head back to Seattle.

I almost typed “head home to Seattle.” I did type “head home,” but then I changed it, because Seattle doesn’t feel like “home” anymore. I have always said, “Home isn’t where your heart is; home is where ‘your people’ are,” and I’ve always understood ‘my people’ to be my family. I had never truly left Seattle before I came to D.C., and I had not considered that I could fall in love with a place where my family was not.

Mom came to visit me again over Easter weekend. Here we are watching the sunset on the rooftop. Nothing like the Capitol Building AND my mom!

But this year has taught me otherwise; now I have people all over the country, and Seattle isn’t necessarily home. In the words of a very-overplayed song by Edward Sharpe, “Home is wherever I’m with you.” Home can be anywhere. Right now, home is D.C.

But now I have to get ready to go back without the promise of coming back to D.C. and with the knowledge that I’m still just “passing through” Washington state (although it’s an extended stay) on my way to Illinois in August.

Wait, what was that?

Oh, yeah. I’m moving to Illinois in August.

In February, I applied for a position as editorial resident at Christianity Today magazine, and I spent most of March praying over that job, which I really wanted even though I was none-too-thrilled about the prospect of moving to the Midwest. Things moved pretty quickly – I had an interview almost immediately – but then I stopped hearing back from them. To complicate things, God threw a curveball when I was offered a different full-time position at an organization…here in D.C. It was a very different type of position, but it would have allowed me to move to D.C. long-term, which is (to be honest) where I’ve started to see myself. Right when I was ready to choose D.C., I had a second interview at Christianity Today and they offered me the job that evening.

After a day of prayer and really agonized decision making, I chose Christianity Today, knowing that this will be the first step toward the career in professional journalism that I have always wanted (or at least for the past 6 years). While working at a magazine will be different than my previous journalism experience, I’m looking forward to the chance to work at a publication that cares about my growth – not only professionally, but personally as well. I have heard amazing things about the people at Christianity Today, and I know that the magazine is widely recognized and respected by other mainstream press. This opportunity proves God’s faithfulness in my life – and that’s part of the bigger story of my semester, or really my entire senior year.

So, that’s actually the short version of the story, and here’s the even shorter version: In August, I will move to Carol Stream, Ill. (about an hour outside of Chicago) to begin a one-year position as CT’s editorial resident. It’s a yearlong position with no guarantee of employment afterward, but that gives me so many options after a year.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll come to call Illinois “home” as well :) After all, I keep telling myself, I did not want to come to D.C. last August, but (spoiler alert) I fell in love with this city so quickly, and it hurts to think about leaving so soon.

Soon, you say? Melissa, you still have 3 weeks left in D.C.! Yes, but look how quickly the next two months are going to fly by:

April 18: Today. Write blog post.
April 20: 3 papers/reports due. Turn in papers. Party like I don’t have anything else due for a week.
April 2…something: Final reflection paper due. Really party like I don’t have anything else due.
May 4: Pack. Slowly die as I realize that I do have to leave D.C. Try not to sink into depression.
May 5: ASP ends. Dad and Alaina arrive in D.C. [two events that will be completely emotionally opposed to one another]
May 5-9: Frolic in D.C. with Dad and Alaina.
May 9-12: Visit Anna Kat in Tennessee.
May 13-14: Head to North Carolina for the graduation of my lovely roommate Annie
May 15: North Carolina > Chicago > Seattle > Black Diamond > Say hi to Mom/Derek/Kenji > Sleep in my own bed.
May 16-June 8: Write honors project.
June 9: Graduate.

See? I’ve basically already graduated. Minus that part where I still have to write my honors project.

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