The sun is still asleep and the room is black. I can see the light coming down the hallway and under the door as I feel Alana move into consciousness next to me. Check my phone: 4:45 am. My eyes squint as I look around trying to make out their shapes. The boys, no longer on the floor next to our mattress, are both already up and moving - no surprises there.
I'm not sure why we decided to all sleep in the same room that night. It wasn't a discussion really; it was just the way it unfolded as the evening went on. One by one as the sleepiness set in we each retired to the room at the back of the house. Maybe it was kindness thing, to avoid making our send off party feel like they had to go before they were ready. Maybe it was a closure thing, needing to physically shut the door to bring our time in Austin to an end. Or maybe it was a comfort thing, hoping that waking up to our last Austin morning would be easier together.
Because the truth is that we did do it together - both physically and emotionally. They say there is strength in numbers and I think this was the case for us. Some people didn’t understand the desire to move across the country with three other people, but we didn’t need them to. Maybe we could have done it alone, maybe not, but either way it didn’t really matter. We each had our own reasons for going, and looking around there was a sense that we understood each others need for movement from this place that had given our souls so much rest.
It wasn’t easy to leave a city where we all felt so rooted and surrounded by community. A community that cared deeply and took care of us, that taught us that we aren’t alone and we aren’t weak. Austin had taken each of us and built us into new humans. The city pulled and stretched and molded me into someone almost unrecognizable from the person I was when I showed up all alone four years prior. It was our home and it was our comfort.
But the truth is that too much comfort can lead to being content, and being too content can quickly lead to becoming stagnant. We loved our comfort but we feared becoming stagnant. As humans, I think it is when our fears begin to overlap that we realize we aren’t alone. We were together in our fears and together in our comforts, which made it easier to take the leap
So with three cars and a U-haul we went. The days that followed were long but full. 3,000 miles of laughs through Walkie Talkies, pick-up truck tears in the middle of the desert, and late night mountain talks about our new soon-to-be home. Finding a new place to breathe was something that we each wanted for ourselves, but as we each sought that out there was no shame in admitting that we were stronger together.