In My Veins
Atlanta has been so good to me.
I moved here a month after graduating and after spending 5 ½ year in a place that you’re only supposed to spend 4, no one was more ready to get out of college than I was. Atlanta wasn’t my dream city, but anything that got me out of school, I was on board with.
I didn’t grow up coming here. Home was big enough to have all the big stores, and all the good restaurants. I didn’t have any family here, and I didn’t really know what to expect. No one told me just how big Atlanta was. A friend of mine has this terrible video of me attempting to get on 285 coming home one weekend and getting berated by honks from a truck driver (it wasn’t my fault). Needless to say I didn’t have a lot of expectations moving here. I didn’t think it was the greatest city in the world or have my heart set on a particular part. I just packed up the small amount of furniture I had in my tiny Jetta and moved.
My first roommates in Atlanta were my sweet friends from Auburn ( I refer to them as the newlyweds, seeing as they had only been married 4 months before I moved in. Lucky them, or lucky me?). These friends let me live in their 2nd bedroom for the Spring while I adjusted here.
And I’ve realized several things while I was there:
I found my first true love in that apartment, garden tubs. Grace and Taylor’s 2nd bedroom apartment came with a huge bathroom, complete with a huge tub, that had enough space for computer, perfect for Netflix binges. I took a bath probably 5 of 7 nights.
I was terrified of every noise of anything ever. You think its bad now, you should have seen me the day Taylor locked himself out and was trying to get in the backdoor. I had 911 typed out on my phone and a can of wasp spray in my hand. I real robber would have just laughed at me.
But in that season, I mostly learned how sweet the Lord orchestrated my steps to live with them in that season. I would have loved to be living in some cool apartment in downtown with new friends .But the Lord knew what I really needed was someone to listen to me at the end of the day. I would have loved to have tons of plans those first few weekends, but instead we made dinners and walked their dog. In a new city and new job and well new everything, Grace knew me. She knew my mom, she knew my old friends, and she knew that I cry at movies, and songs, and hard days. And when you’re all alone in a big new city, it’s just in nice to have someone on your home team.
The other part about those first few months ( & that I would recommend to anyone) is that I drove everywhere. I went to stores that weren’t close, took the long ways home, and tried different coffee shops or restaurants when I could. I got to know places, even if I didn’t have any connection to them yet.
When I first moved here, people use to tell me Atlanta was laid out like a heart. I- 285 made one large circle that shaped the city and I-75/I-85/I-20 were like the arteries running through. Somehow that analogy helped as I navigated through this unknown city. Somehow I found comfort in the fact that 285 made one giant loop around the town. My 2nd bedroom with the garden tub was right off the interstate. Exit 18. It was nice to know if I could just find 285, I could drive around in one giant circle until exit 18 directed me home.
It seems so silly now, but those signs seemed like lifelines to me then.
But in a deeper way, Atlanta was just good for my heart.
Before I got here, I had spent several years running. And when I got here, I started to slow down. I was out of breath, tired and hurt. I was in desperate need of change. It’s been almost 3 years here, and my time in Atlanta has pointed me deeper and deeper in the arms of my Savior.
The truth is Atlanta didn’t do any of that. Jesus did. I did.
I changed for the better when I moved here. I had to. I needed to. I spend time diving into to the most broken parts of my heart and casting light on the areas I had boarded up.
I’m still here, still learning new road and new routes. I don’t live close to the outer circle of Atlanta’s giant heart anymore. I’ve moved closer to the center and my time spent on 285 is almost non-existent.
But I think whatever season we’re in, we can all be thankful for the paths that light up the road home.