I have lived in Minneapolis for almost 11 years now [and, my husband will joke, I still don't know my way around]. But it wasn't until the spring of last year that I actually felt settled here.
I tend to treat everything as impermanent, partly because life does change so frequently and it is ridiculous to try and plan for all those things, and partly because I actually crave newness. On every job interview I've had in my adult life, I've truthfully disclosed that I couldn't promise to be with the company for any length of time - not one month, not one year. We bought our house five years ago because we thought we were leaving the country. When we started Hiawatha Church, I thought we'd be here about 5 years. I get unsettled when I'm in one place for too long and am always dreaming about, praying, and waiting for "the next thing." Ultimately, I am really longing for home - HEAVEN!
As with all things, the strength and weakness of my attitude is the same: I don't get attached to anything. Holding loosely to people, places, and circumstances makes it easier to move on; but, by the same token, it prevents me from investing fully in the moment. All the struggles that I have had, particularly in the four years of church-planting, were always eased by the sense that "this, too, shall pass"; yet, I also feel like I've never remained anywhere long enough to enjoy deep relationships.
I hadn't truly realized how much of a distance I had held our church community away from me until last May, when I suddenly sensed a grounded peace about being here. I think, truth be told, that I have actually spent the last four years praying about leaving, so to have this calm acceptance that we might be in Minneapolis, at Hiawatha, for an undetermined but perhaps lengthy period of time, was - well, unusual. But - good.
I think this was partly inspired by the invitation to become a permanent ensemble member with Sandbox Theatre. Michael and I didn't hesitate to cast our lot with this talented, groundbreaking, and simply awesome group of artists. In fact, it was an answer to prayer. God seemed to open doors for me to continue to perform after Maren was born, so I told him that I would really like to a) not audition, or at least, not have to seek out roles, and b) be involved with the same people repeatedly so that I could develop strong friendships. Sandbox was the perfect solution.
So I found myself, in May, recognizing that I had begun to lay down roots right here in Minneapolis, this city I'd called home for a decade but never really lived in. I started rethinking all my responsibilities at Hiawatha and examining all my relationships. Did I really deserve to be considered anyone's friend? Was I serving as much as I could be, or according to the best use of my talents? What dreams did I have now that I was officially an 'artist'?
I am still answering these questions and asking a whole lot more. It is new for me to feel settled somewhere, and it's influencing the way I do everything, from cleaning my house to planning a garden and committing to public transportation. I am excited about the challenges and changes that will happen this year, simply because, for possibly the first time ever, I'm not just waiting to move on.