New Haven

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Our new cat, Li’l Sebastian, adopted from the New Haven Animal Shelter

I moved to New Haven on July 23rd, 2019.

I’ve lived here just over three weeks now – I think – and it’s been a combination of profound stress, sporadic sadness, and excitement.

I think I decided to write today because, 1. it’s been raining since I woke up, so I canceled my plans to walk to a local restaurant to meet up with a fellow seminarian and, 2. my car was towed this morning due to a misunderstanding about the street cleaning schedule and it put me in just the right mood (read: despair-rage) to be introspective.

I completed my discernment committee meetings in early July – about 15 hours in total, if you count training – and since then, I’ve pretty much been wiped out on the introspection front. I enjoyed the committee sessions immensely and, contrary to everyone’s warnings, didn’t find them overwhelming or triggering. Rather, they were a good opportunity to practice saying what I feel about church, my religious and spiritual journey, my sense of calling, and my hesitations about committing to a life of church ministry. At the time, I felt relief, like what’s been a secret tamped down inside me for so long is something I’m now allowed to express in public.

But then I had to say goodbye to my beloved volunteers and customers at the thrift shop where I worked for five years; fight to hold back tears during my last day singing in my church choir; and spend an ungodly number of hours sorting, packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, sorting out life logistics, and more. It’s left me feeling a bit like a robot rather than a person. I simply haven’t had the emotional energy to think that much about what’s happening, to process the fact that I now live in a completely different state in a completely different region, several hours away from almost everyone I know and love.

It’s ok, though. I’ve been thinking about how I reacted to this move versus how I reacted when we moved from Florida to Virginia. I remember putting on a performative melancholy at the time, and then legitimately struggling with SAD through my first real winter in “the north.” This time around, even though Daniel and I have been in near isolation for almost a month, I have the perspective to keep telling myself: “Your feelings are valid, but they are not permanent.” I’m sad and lonely – and that can make me feel frantic, a bit unhinged – but I know that it’s normal and I know what I need to do to cope.

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We visited friends in Maine during our first weekend in New England

That’s a nice thing about getting older, and the nice thing about having worked with people far outside my peer group for the last several years.  I don’t have to perform introspection or authenticity or melancholy. I can just wait it out.

With our endless free time – both Daniel and I are currently unemployed – we’ve been exploring local restaurants and thrift shops. I found a really good Goodwill in nearby Milford and enjoyed taking a walk to a local market last week. I even walked to church on Sunday – a local Episcopal parish that is mostly lay led – where I heard one of the best sermons of my life and met a few people around my age.

A few photos from around town

 

We live in New Haven proper, and so our neighborhood is very pedestrian-friendly. Now that the weather is cooling down (it was in the 90s the week we moved here), I plan to walk over the seminary and get a feel for how doable my morning commute will be.

Orientation is next week and school starts a few days after that. In the meantime, I’ll be reading some recommended books, continuing to organize our belongings, and playing with our newly adopted cat, Li’l Sebastian.

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