So I had kind of forgotten that I already had a blog.
I had to request a new password, but now I’m in and reviving this thing (though “reviving” suggests it was lively before . . . it was really only ever a lazy way to share pics and travel stories with family without taking the time to print out photos and actually write to everyone).
Most anyone likely to be reading this is pretty much up-to-date on our departure from Dallas about a month ago and our first weeks in the Washington, D.C. area as Andrés goes through his initial foreign service training (“A-100” in State Department parlance). So here, rather than catching folks up with details, I thought I’d explain some of what I was thinking about as we moved toward this new life.
For some people, I think the idea of jumping on this particular crazy-train seems natural and appealing. Others might wonder why we’d ever choose this kind of upheaval for our family.
Forgive this rather grandiose reference (and for my many friends who are not religious or are of a different faith, just know I’m not intending to be exclusive here – my faith is just a big part of how I make sense of the world), but early on when I was thinking about what was then just the possibility of living this life with our family I thought about the apostle Peter and the Transfiguration. Thumbnail version: Jesus takes some of his guys up a mountain and is transfigured before them, his deity, in a sense, made visible. Elijah and Moses appear and talk with Jesus. Peter’s reaction: Cool!! Let’s see what we can do to make this a permanent situation. Let’s build some tents for you and the prophets. Let’s keep this amazing situation just the same as it is right now for as long as we possibly can.
The thing is, amazing experiences can’t help but be transformative and keeping an amazing situation just the same as it is right now kind of robs it of its amazing-ness. I am in no way equating divine revelation with the opportunity to become a globe-trotting representative of the U.S. government. I’m just saying that Peter’s very human desire to preserve something phenomenal by enshrining it rather than by allowing it to transform him and going out to see what it means in a now-broader world is something that felt very relevant to me when I thought about our new life.
Certainly not everyone has to unmoor and cast adrift to find meaning in life, but I do think it’s helpful to think about how much we let the comfort and beauty and reassurance of our everyday lives lead us to a place where we don’t really think about entirely new possibilities – where we’d rather admire and enshrine what’s special rather than let it transform us and move us into a new and possibly uncomfortable realm.
I’m done waxing theological now. We’re here and we’re doing this and I’m thrilled to find out where we’re headed next (which we learn tomorrow afternoon). The kids – Isaiah in particular – are ready to know. This has meant a lot of uncertainty for them, but they are learning already that they are better equipped for things new and different than they had ever expected.