Tomorrow I am saying goodbye to Whittier. Goodbye to Buck's house. Goodbye to the coolest house I have ever lived in. Goodbye to a town that has been good to me.
Two years ago when my walls started crumbling down, I needed to return to the place that treated me so well - the Biola area. I tried out Fullerton for a bit, only to continue on to Whittier. For the past year I have lived in a great house with a pool, fruit trees, and all the room you need for alone time. It started with me, Rachel Olson (Garman), Aubree Kusmit (Hills), Melodey Reiss, and Lara Hurlburt. Aubree went away to grad school and got married, and Lindsay Schmidt joined us. Rachel got married and Hannah joined us. Hannah and Lindsay moved on and Jessica and Emily are here now. Now it's my turn to say goodbye.
When I moved in a year ago, I was desperate for peace and sanity. My life was in turmoil. I was having a quarter life crisis. And even though I lost my mind a few times living with 4 other women, I also regained most of who I am.
This town is comfortable. Biola is down the street, trader joes and target are around the corner, and pretty much all of my friends are within 60 miles north and south. I know the neighbors, and I know the secret ins and outs of street corners. I know where the cops hide, and I know where the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants sit. This place has always brought me peace and direction, and I am thankful.
Leaving here is more than just a regular move I have had before, because when I am gone, I most likely won't ever be coming back. And if one day I did come back to work for Biola, if wouldn't be for many years. I will visit of course, but it won't ever be the same. Even now, walking onto Biola's campus feels oddly distant. Between the new construction, and not knowing anyone as I walk around, it is clear that the campus has moved on without me... without all of my friends. I will be forever grateful for Biola - the place that raised me up to be a witness for Christ, and work in a world with integrity and compassion. Biola has drilled in me a foundation that would be extremely difficult to break... I'd dare to say, unbreakable.