I was not prepared for Dallas to feel so much like home. This stop has really messed with my ideas of My Ideal Future, and the role a certain Texan city might have in them.
On Thursday night, Sanjay said, “Take a deep breath. Now…do you think you could take us to the airport tomorrow morning at 5:00?” When I agreed, Chrisette said, “I can’t wait to see how you function before the sun comes up!”
I functioned well enough, driving them to DFW without accident. We talked during the 20 drive, and at some point Sanjay said, “Blah blah blah–when we’re in Greece next year.”
“WHAT?” I said.
Chrisette laughed. “I guess we thought it was so obvious we would visit you that we forgot to tell you we’ve already bought tickets. We’re going to Athens during the kids’ spring break.”
How crazy that I found this amazing family by “chance” on care.com. We’re going to hang out internationally, AND they let me stay at their house while they vacationed in Portland.
I fell asleep for a couple more hours before waking up and beginning a whirlwind of people visits. At noon on Thursday, I had sushi with Tyler and Nancy, my counseling coworkers at The Vale. They were both so supportive of me choosing to go to Greece instead of continuing to work there, which is DUMB because I would have loved to work with them for years and years! Who knows, maybe someday, I don’t know, there are too many amazing people in the world!
After that I went to DTS, and in only four months an entire building has been finished (almost). I had coffee with Dr. Kreider, and we talked about TV shows, domestic violence, a theology of violence (or anti-violence), and the importance of making decisions based upon both our intelligence and our emotion. You can take the girl out of seminary, but you can’t take the seminary out of the girl.
Dr. Kreider had to meet another student, and so did I! Ruth met me at the same coffee shop, and we got to catch up since she spent my last semester at DTS in Indiana. She greeted me with, “I can’t wait to talk to you! You’re the only person I can talk to about embarrassing boy stuff and God stuff.” That is exactly what I want engraved on my tombstone: Tricia Loved Boy Stuff and God Stuff. It reminded me of a friend who texted me to say, “I fell in love with an animated character and I think you are the only one who will understand!!” Anyway, Ruth was awesome and encouraging, and she prayed for me out loud, which is always like….fresh rain? Ugh, that’s so cheesy, but it just feels really good for someone to step out in that way on my behalf.
After that, I headed to dinner with Lindsay! We only had to catch up a little bit, since I saw her in Atlanta just a couple weeks ago! But it was still so nice to hang out, although it was also disorienting. It felt so normal, but that ISN’T normal anymore, which sucks. I’d wanted to be able to stay with her in Denton during this trip, but everything was just too crazy. I guess I’ll have to do another roadtrip in 2017!
Finally we are to Friday! Friday morning I visited the Trabuns. I befriended Mike at DTS during a group project on the theology of the body, and during my last year in Dallas I spent Tuesday mornings with Christy, playing with her two older sons (ages 3 and 5) while she managed her newborn twins. They also have two huge dogs (had, one was just put to sleep yesterday!), so you can imagine how chaotic their house is. Only it isn’t? I am always amazed at how comfortable and peaceful their house is, despite children in slings around people’s backs and other children careening around corners dressed as a colorful bat. Loved catching up with them.
Michal was waiting in the driveway by the time I got back to the house, and we spent a couple hours catching up before deciding on the laziest, most amazing plan. We stocked up on snacks at Trader Joe’s, changed into sweatpants, and watched the entire season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt late into the night. Perfection. She stayed the night, and we stood on the back porch having more serious conversations in the morning while the most perfect rain pattered into the pool. Then she left, which sucked.
However, the theme of this long weekend is that I can never feel too bad about a goodbye, because there is someone else waiting immediately after. I had brunch on Saturday with Liz and her sister Samantha at Breadwinners, the most delicious breakfast restaurant in Dallas. Liz is hopefully headed to France soon, and it’s really fun to be able to say, “Hopefully the next time we hang out, we’ll be in Europe!”
I finally had a couple hours to rest, which was good because I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with a cold. But I wasn’t about to pass up a Saranac reunion, which is where I went Saturday night. It was super weird to knock on my old front door and wait for someone to open it, but once I was inside, it felt totally normal. I loved reconnecting with my old roommates (everyone stayed, and the girl who replaced me was someone I knew and liked). We drove together to Bishop Arts district and ate at Eno’s, an incredibly delicious pizza place. We stopped to buy hot chocolate and ice cream on the way home, which we ate while hanging out for the rest of the night. (If I don’t gain 50 pounds from this roadtrip, it will be a miracle.)
Sunday I went to church, and Libby summarized it perfectly by patting my leg and saying, “This feels so right!” when I sat beside her and Mike in our normal pew. And then Roger and Susan sat behind me and sneak-attack hugged me, and more people said hi, and I missed my Trinity family so much while also being right there with them. Plus I missed reciting the Nicene creed and taking Communion every week. I appreciated Trinity when Keith paused before serving Communion to say that someone had mentioned feeling lonely while taking Communion, so why don’t you intentionally hold the trays for the person next to you and like, hold their hand a little? So Libby held the body and blood of Jesus for me, then squeezed my hand after I passed it on. The compassion of this church in the little things is so inspiring to me. WHY DID I LEAVE I’m an idiot.
And that’s my Dallas trip so far! WHEW. It’s been a whirlwind of amazing people, and I still have one more day here before I collapse into a heap of regret. I mean, kind of. I don’t want to NOT go to Greece. I just want to be able to split myself and live multiple lives at the same time. Is that so hard? Come on, science.