Saturday, June 20, 2009

Be Kind, Rewind. Then Press Stop.

The last several weeks have been a blur of grandparents visiting, first birthday fun, new babies for several friends, and big surprises: primarily that, quite out of the blue, we found a house for rent, right in the middle of Fuller's housing, that costs the same as what we pay here. And it looks like it's ours.

Which means: we are moving back to Pasadena, to LA, to All Saints, to our friends there, to my midwife (yay! but not pregnant - yet), and to the several schools with which John has experience teaching that are probably a lot more inclined to ask him back than the places up here he's applied to. While I've begun many relationships up here and even made a few good friends, our main support network is still down there. I mean, you can't really recreate 13 years worth of connections in 1 year.

But I am really grateful for the people I met up here. The moms especially have been so fun to hang out with as we share our daughters' lives. Maggie has many fans and is the biggest fan of the big kids who hang out with us. And of course there's the food pantry, which is my church community, the people with whom I share meaningful work, and that bonds you in a way that is special. My other church community - the Sunday morning crowd - is also full of lovely people who've embraced our family, and they will be greatly missed.

Up here, the job market is abysmal. Predictions indicate jobs won't return in number until 2012. John not only couldn't find teaching work, he can't find any work. At least down south we have a lot of connections in all kinds of weird places; it's quite possible people can throw him a few days' work on a film crew, in an office, or even cooking or babysitting or running errands. He's even done yard work for the older ladies at church. There just seems to be more opportunity.

But most of all this is about returning Home, to the community and city where our hearts live, and where we most want to be. Or as John put it: "It's like we've had a near-death experience, and we're never going to take LA for granted again. We almost lost it forever. Now we're going to do all the things we always talked about but never actually got to do."

Being our resident philosopher, he's always describing our life in such poetic ways. Another thing he said to me, shortly after we decided to apply for the house: "Well, you kept saying you wanted a do-over. I guess you're getting it."

Exactly. Rewind my life back a year, and start again, this time making the right decisions. Staying home with my baby instead of barreling on through school, and staying within my home city. But I get to do it with a one-year-old who is way more fun now than she was last year at this time!

It's not like moving up here was a humongous mistake that I regret. I don't regret the friends I've made, and John pointed out that I basically got to do a year's internship at St. Gregory's, observing their worship and the food pantry inreach. I actually think I might have to start a pantry based on their model down in LA. I don't think I can live without it; it's become too important.

But how often do you get the chance to try again, knowing now what you wished you'd known then? It's a gift, it really is.

So that's the Be Kind, Rewind part of my title. Now for the Press Stop.

As you've no doubt noticed, I really don't have time to maintain this blog anymore. And since it was started as a reflection of my journey through seminary - and academia beyond - I don't have anything much to say anymore about that. Being a full-time mom just isn't what Feminary is about, and that's perfectly OK. I'd rather keep it in kind of a pristine time-warp. My obsession with food issues will continue over at FoodiEvangelist, but the Feminarian is retiring - or at least, taking a very long maternity leave.

If God is so good as to grant me entrance to the ordination process (for real) one day, then I might pick this blog back up again to talk about that experience. But that's going to be, I would guess, a long time from now, because I'm just way too gun-shy to throw myself back into that pain again. (OK I will admit that moving back to the parish & diocese where people know me is appealing...but I'm not expecting anything to happen)

So, thank you to those of you who have read from the beginning. It's been quite a journey. And thanks to you who've joined us more recently; go back and read some of the early stuff - it's funny and heartbreaking. I've grown so much through these last years, and almost all of it has been good (or at least character-building).

That's all she wrote. Peace. Out.


JTB said...

Feminary has been so good for me.

I really like a happy ending.

Especially one that doesn't shut the door on the possibility of a promising sequel.

And bonus! in the meantime, there's FoodiEvangelist. :)

Dan Stringer said...

I've been a Feminary "follower" for the past 18 months or so. I haven't commented much, but please know that your writing has provided much of the inspiration for my own blogging journey.

I've particularly appreciated your extraordinary authenticity and zeal for justice.

Soli Deo gloria!

mustofa el-sofyani said...

can you tell abut your classmate