So, Jenoa and I moved. I’m writing this from Charlottesville, VA. We made it.

We drove the whole way, taking a total of 5 days and logging more than 2000 miles and over 40 hours of drive time. We watched the landscape change from from high-desert, to mountains, to plains, to hills, to dense forests. We stayed in New Mexico, two nights in Texas, and one night in Tennessee before arriving in Cville. We also swam in a river.

I got to enjoy Charlottesville for two days before having to fly right back to Orange County for my company’s product team summit. That was a fun trip. I even got to see my best friend.

Surprisingly, this place has already begun to feel like home. When I flew into John Wayne Airport, it felt like I was visiting, not returning. It felt normal to tell myself, “Orange County is not my home anymore”. And when I returned to Virginia four days later, it felt like coming home.

There are moments when I miss my close friends. Really miss them. Today marks the third Wing Wednesday I’ll be absent from. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad. And I really wish I had them here with me.

And at the same time, people here have been more than welcoming. We’ve already had a game night. Jenoa’s begun her job and is excited to start regularly meeting with students. I feel like I have less stress and more time. Charlottesville, in many ways, feels like my ideal place to live. There’s a lot to be grateful for.

It’s sometimes unsettling to experience grief and gratitude in equal measure. But I suppose the grief is also an extension of gratitude – gratitude for having such good friends that I’m sad to no longer have them in close proximity. And the grief does not erase the gratitude for the new place and people that have entered my life.

All is grace.