Saturday, August 15, 2009

getting *gasp* settled

Just got home from the zoo that is The Grocery Store on Saturdays and which I have been spoiled enough to be able to avoid these summer months when I could go during the weekdays, blissfully unaware of the pandemonium that carried on in the aisles on weekends when the rest of the world does their grocery shopping. But, alas, I am rejoining the work world and will do anything to escape mid-week trips to the store after I've spent some time in rush hour traffic.

So, that said, I ran into the owner of one of Callie's playmates from the park. He said hello to me and re-introduced himself (as an aside, I find this to be super classy, introducing oneself multiple times in order to save someone the embarrassment of asking one's name for the third or fourth time). I did, however, remember his name and got to meet his son, who is around the age my students will be this year.

For many people, this is just an ordinary, unremarkable happenstance, but as I smiled and turned away with an "It was so nice to see you!" and knew that I meant it, I was struck by something. After three years of living in the Dallas area, I am officially at a point in my life when I can run into casual acquaintances at the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon. I have avoided this phenomenon these last few years by:

a) attending a local church but managing not to meet anyone for 2+ years (up until January, when we changed churches)

b) working at a school that is in a completely separate community and working with people who lived almost exclusively within that community

c) not having a dog or children (until we got Callie in September)

In some ways, I used to kind of relish the fact that I could go out in public while not exactly looking my best without having to worry about running in to someone I knew. Running errands is also much more efficient when you aren't stopping to chat with people along the way, and I am generally all about efficiency when I switch into my task-oriented mode. However, I couldn't help but feel a little lonely the last few years in this big lonely city. I have had every intention of moving away from here within the next few years or so; I am not the biggest Dallas fan by any stretch of the imagination.

Something is definitely changing though. I don't know exactly how it has happened, maybe just with the passing of time, but I am beginning to get more settled in here. I have very mixed feelings about that. We got a dog, which makes it easier to meet and talk to people at the park. We started going to a new church and actually meeting people and making friends. We went dancing at the senior center and met some charming people who live right around here. I'm starting a new job in Dallas, which is causing my heart to have to soften for at least the small area in which our students live. As I drive to school, I find myself arrested every morning by the Dallas skyline. Something about it stops me and pulls at my heart, and every week morning I feel compelled to pray for this place and its people. I've never been very good at praying for cities or nations because it has always seemed so overwhelming to me, but I know it's a biblical thing to do. And so, in spite of the part of me that kicks and screams at the thought of forming attachments that would make it hard to leave this place, I find that God is creating in me a love and a heart for the people of Dallas, Texas.

4 comments:

Monica said...

I read this post with so many mixed emotions. I can't even let myself think about you moving away (although I understand why you would want to) without getting tears in my eyes, but I am also so happy that you are starting to find your niche in this big 'ol city. Until the sad days arrive, I give you three cheers for having to put on make up to go to the grocery store!

Lindsay O'Connor said...

Thanks for your sweet words! I don't know what God's plans are down the road but am loving the adventure of finding out day by day. It's entirely possible that He is preparing me to have the desire to stay here longer, if that is His plan. So, that said, who knows? I might be here until we're old and grey =-) At any rate, I love love love living so close to you! You are completely irreplaceable!

Laura and Denny said...

I really can't tell you why but this blog was amazing I was leaning forward just reading it. It is wonderful Lindsay that you are feeling complete in Dallas I will continue to pray for you, Chris, and all the people in Dallas too.

Lindsay O'Connor said...

Thanks so much! That's a really sweet compliment. I appreciate it and your prayers. I hope you guys are well and am missing you!!