Well, dear readers, this is a somewhat bittersweet moment. After two years of maintaining this blog of my life, it’s time to bring it to an end. After all, why should I write a blog entitled “AlabamAdventures” if I’m no longer in Alabama? Of course, I’m sure many of you had already figured out that I wouldn’t be staying in Alabama forever. Once I was certain that I wasn’t sticking around, I didn’t come right out and say it, but I did certainly hint that the day of departure was to come sooner, rather than later.
Many months ago, I wrote a draft of this final post and let it sit for a while so that I could pull it out and use it for this momentous occasion. Unfortunately, most of the post is somewhat obsolete as I’ve updated this blog with the various activities that I’ve been involved in this year. Fortunately, this means that I can’t use the post, which had a very morose tone anyways. And yet, it still had some things that I think still need to be said.
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been kind of a slow year in terms of adventures. I haven’t really had anything noteworthy enough to write about. This is actually somewhat of a good thing, since most of the things I write about are when things in life don’t go as planned (don’t even get me STARTED on airplanes). And yet, in order to keep this blog from getting too stale, I tried to write a post once every month. Not some of my best writing, but when you’re forcing yourself to write just to keep the readers coming back, the result can often be somewhat banal.
From the very beginning, Alabama was a culture shock for me. Having lived in Colorado for most of my life, the changes ended up conflicting with what I had come to regard as normal. Now granted, I am anything but normal, which you may read into in whichever way you would like. However, for the past two years, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a constant state of resistance against the local culture and climate. Let’s just say that I’m glad my apartment had air-conditioning. To keep this a more upbeat post, I’m not going to mention the variety of things that I resisted while in the south.
Now granted, I have made many friends down here, and I’ve been able to connect to a few of my interests, which has made the decision to leave somewhat difficult. When I left Colorado two years ago, pretty much my immediate family were the only ones that were a little sad to see me go. And yet, in two short years, I have been blessed so much with friends at work and church and Bible study that I eventually grew tired of them telling me that I could not leave.
Still, there were times that I felt a bit stifled, and I think the move will definitely help. When I finished my 7 month rotation in Maryland, I felt like I had come out of the wilderness with a greater understanding of how I tick. I was ready to take on the world. And yet, it wasn’t until the end of my two years in Alabama that I actually feel like I’m ready to emerge from the wilderness.
Part of me feels like I need a fresh start. A clean slate. A second chance. My first few years on my own definitely had many learning experiences. Many failures. Many poor decisions. Somehow, parts of Huntsville seem to embody those failures for me. But other parts of Huntsville also hold significance for my successes, so there is a balance. Still, perhaps getting away from the source of those early, formative years of my independent life will be the way I can finally emerge from my shell and let my life truly begin. After all, how often do we get second chances in life?
When it comes down to it, I am really excited for this new chapter in my life. Not only will I probably get to use some of my skills that I’ve spent years refining, be they skills for work or otherwise, but I feel that I will have access to far more opportunities here because this time I will be looking for them. Still, I will keep this blog up as a landmark and a milestone of where I’ve been. I won’t be updating this site anymore. In fact, I’m liable to stop blogging like this altogether. If there’s anything interesting in my life, I’ll probably write a facebook note about it. At the very least, I don’t like beating myself up over not writing anything in this blog just because it’s here. You can’t control your life for entertainment purposes. I appreciate those who have paid attention over the last two years, but I’ve seen the stats for this site, and I know it won’t really be missed. When it comes down to it, I did this blog for myself, and now I have lost interest (it’s more difficult to come up with titles than I had originally thought). The move from Alabama is only a convenient way to call it quits.
However, this doesn’t mean I’ll stop blogging entirely. I just won’t be blogging about my personal life. Work has already begun on a new blog about movies that will be similar to the articles that I used to write for my college newspaper. As such, I can prepare many posts ahead of time in order to provide a steady stream of posts for you, the valued reader.
So, with this new chapter in my life, I’d ask that you pray that I would have courage to step outside my comfort zone, to not be afraid to try, to accept failures gracefully and to appreciate the successes when they happen. There’s nothing much left to say but, “Once more, from the top. And this time, with feeling!”