Well, it's been about three weeks since I moved up to Baltimore, officially. I'd say that it's been nothing but one awesome adventure after the next, but really, life has been a little boring. I took one amazing road trip up to New Jersey to visit a friend of mine, and I have to say that was one of the best weekends in recent memory. No matter what those dumb brats at MTV have done to it, the Jersey shore still is rather beautiful. Other than that, I've been doing pretty normal, boring things. Like finding the grocery store, or going to IKEA with a friend to find stuff for his apartment. By the way, I love IKEA.
Amazingly, I actually do love my neighborhood. I grew up in a small southern town and I went to college in a pretty quaint beach resort town. Baltimore isn't either of those things. It's gritty, crowded, and I'm living in a small studio apartment, tucked away in an alley (even though I totally admit that it's an alley in a pretty nice neighborhood.) I don't have a job yet, even though I put in applications for teaching, assistant teaching, and substitute teaching with the city school system two weeks ago. But beyond all of that, I actually like being somewhere that's a little more diverse and noisy. There always seems to be something interesting to see and do, and that's quite different from home.
One thing that the move up here has revealed is my severe perfectionist streak. I think my road trip over the summer was supposedly a good lesson about how life is never perfect, even when it's amazing, but I'm not quite sure I totally wrapped my head around that before I moved. I was totally caught up in the moment of having a second chance, and I really expected every day here to be perfect and for every single aspect of life to fall in place immediately and neatly. I think I'm pretty talented and prepared, most of the time, but I still sometimes think that it's possible for me to start something and leave my flawed nature behind.
I think that can be best exemplified by the fact that I got into a car accident five minutes into the city. It's ironic, in a way. I had several people praying for a safe trip, and even though I got into an accident, the damage was mild and I still ended up at my destination on time. So I suppose those prayers were answered. Still, I was personally really upset, not just because there was a potential for rising insurance, but because my "perfect" transition to Baltimore, well, didn't even start perfectly. At all.
And I suppose nothing ever does. I noticed throughout the next few weeks that pretty much every car up here seems to have a dent or two up here. Flaws are a necessary part of human nature. We're all extremely flawed, and frankly the moments where we are at our best are few and far between enough to be labeled "precious." I'm still having a difficult time removing my perfectionist streak. Just the other day I wanted to completely delete every note, blog post, and status update on my Facebook, and my old blog, that didn't include consistent grammar and punctuation. Even though I've grown and learned over the years, I like to eliminate the evidence that I was ever faulty.
And yet, while I'm here, I have to realize that I'm not perfect. Embracing my fallibility doesn't mean that I shouldn't attempt to change or grow into something better, but it does mean that I will be able to accept things when they aren't absolutely the way I had hoped or expected them to be. I may not get the teaching job I wanted up here, but I'm sure some form of work will come along -- right now I'm actually applying to be an administrative assistant at a temp services company, so wish me luck about that. And maybe I won't enjoy my graduate program as much as I had hoped, but I'm still going to get that degree at the end of it.
I have to start recognizing that none of us can ever be perfect, and none of us are ever in control of our lives. Even the control that we think we have is little more than an illusion. God really has supported me a lot over the last three weeks, and I'm praying that He continues to support and comfort me as the next two years reveals a lot more of my imperfections. I have to rely on Him, while accepting that the chaos may not always subside, but I can have a certain level of peace in its midst. As always, I'm excited for the adventures that are to come.