A year ago today…

Today was nothing too exciting. Went to church, read a bit, bounced around the house, cooked dinner and watched some TV.

A year ago today was much more of a landmark day. 365 days ago I moved up to Charlottesville, Virginia. I remember so many little things about day.

My beautiful Charlottesville home!

The morning was exciting: it felt something like the first day embarking on a new trip. My parents and I had breakfast with my then-boyfriend, now-fiance. He didn’t kiss me goodbye because my parents were there (he’s not into PDA in front of the in-laws, can you blame him?). On the drive up, my dad made me lead in my car but kept calling from his car to tell me different directions. My mom and I listened to showtunes and Disney songs all the way up.

Arriving felt more real. We finally got to my new house, which I’d never actually seen. I got to meet one of my roommates, Emily, for the first time. She graciously helped us unload my stuff up the stairs and into my new room. It was hot as mess outside, so it made for a sweaty afternoon. Lunch was at a local favorite that Emily took us to, Bodo’s Bagels, which of
course I’d never heard of before. Talking to Emily, a fellow UVa campus minister, was such a relief: hearing about her life made things feel a little more real, a little more doable.

After we ate, I sent my parents out to explore C-ville while I unpacked a bit. Unpacking all your belongings is a special breed of overwhelming. That quintessential college experience of moving all your belongings in one trip that most students experience never hit me: I was local enough to make several trips over a couple days to move every year. But what I missed in college, I was getting full force now.

In far too short a time (in my opinion), my parents reappeared, wanting to take me to Walmart before heading back to NC. Another traditional undergrad experience that I missed at UNC. They loaded my empty luggage back in the car (which, let’s be honest, was mostly dumped on my floor rather than actually put away, seeing as I was still a few furniture pieces short) and off we went. We bought a box fan – surprise! No A/C in my house, which I didn’t realize until moving in – duct tape, odds and ends, and a couple groceries. Dad tried to be generous and tell me to get whatever I wanted to, but in the whir of moving I wasn’t ready to think about packing my lunch next week.

The parents took the cheesy pictures of us outside the house and I waved goodbye from the front porch. The summer of praying, fundraising, and planning had come together here. Now, there were bigger milestones to come: my first large group worship service. First coffee with a student. First beach retreat. First time a student confided in me. First year that I watched a group of 200 students mature in their understanding of who God is and what their relationship with Him can be.

But that day one year ago was the day my year began. My first week of life in Virginia, and my first week on InterVarsity staff. In hindsight, that first week felt like my first week of adulthood. So this week I’ll remember that one 52 weeks ago that started this crazy adventure we call adult life.

3 thoughts on “A year ago today…

  1. This is a great post in so many ways. What a poignant reflection on the moment you felt marked your adult life, I think we can all relate to the moment that marked it for us. Also, I laughed a little at your memory of your dad calling you from the other car with different directions, sounds like my dad too! Love you, Emma! Excited for you and the work that God is doing in students’ lives through you!

  2. I love you. I’m so glad I got to see and experience a little slice of that Charlottesville life. That trip will forever be one of my most favorite and treasured memories post college.

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