Guest Post from the West Coast

Monday, February 24, 2014

Introducing Anna
I'm excited to feature a guest post on my blog today. This post is coming from one of my best friends from high school, Anna. We did so much together back in school, and it's been hard parting ways after graduation. In fact, we went in completely different directions. She lives in Seattle and I am in New York. I'm glad we both have a place to call home in Minneapolis. 
Anna is currently a freshman in college and she's going to share a bit about her experience so far. She's a wonderful photographer and writer.

A Life-Changing Move

"I hopped on a train with my Mom to go across the country to college. It was hard watching the miles of land I was leaving behind blur by. Knowing I was going so far. But now I know three more things: many people have gone so much further than me; I am blessed to have a good home and family to miss; and going far has been completely worth it.
I won’t deny that things have been hard. They have. Leaving the familiar is seriously challenging. Forging completely new relationships and watching old ones wither away has not been painless. But I truly believe every hard time has taught me new wisdom, changed me, stretched me further than I thought I could go, and brought me closer to both knowing myself and God better. It’s been messy, but it’s been good too.

A Beautiful Place

Besides, sometimes a place fits you like your own skin. Seattle speaks to me like poetry. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest heals my heart every time I encounter it. There is so much to see here. Nature like I’ve never seen before surrounds me. Mountains, forest, sea. I am constantly awestruck. You should see me freak out over how green February is (I am often pestering my roommates with exclamations over it). Crocuses are popping up already. Ivy spills from every corner and moss covers each surface. It is green and alive here. It makes me alive too. 
The city is lively and bustling. I love the roughness to it, the old shops, the musicians on the streets, the graffiti and rust cast upon the walls. Art is everywhere. There is a sense of broken beauty around here. Knowledge that things aren’t perfect but still hope for restoration. The city seems to look me in the eyes with both sorrow and peace. I like its honesty.

Branch out
Opportunities for adventure are abundant. There are so many places to explore, nooks and crannies hidden away, just waiting to be discovered. Libraries, shops, markets, piers. A melody of culture, sound, and interaction. I like to walk along the canal which is nearby my school, sometimes to Gasworks Park. Lots of walking, lots of seeing. College has taught me to not stay cooped up or hidden away. Seeing the world is terrifying and wildly good.

To conclude, I really want to encourage you to take risks. Go new places. This faraway place has captured my heart. Coming to Seattle has been really good for me… good in a raw, difficult, unexpected way. Yeah, sometimes I feel like I’m torn between places. Like I’ve been cut in half. Pieces of me are left behind on parts of the map. Wherever I go, I will always be away from someone I love. It hurts badly, some days. But I do not regret it. Leaving home hasn’t necessarily meant I’ve found a new home. Home is simply different, stretched across miles of earth. It can be found in different places, in various moments and people. Most of all, I think I’ve learned that wherever I go in this wide world, I will never find a perfect place. Life and home come in broken ways, and that is a beautiful thing."

Anna attends Seattle Pacific University.
Check out her blog: Heartbeat

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