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It’s the inner uncomfortableness I feel when something silly (like chairs too close together) makes me feel claustrophobic.  It’s the uneasy I feel when I know I’m going to have to talk to people I don’t really know.

It’s the anxiety I feel when I get an invitation.  Anywhere.  To do anything.  Those vibrations tell me it’s going to be uncomfortable.  It might be out of my comfort zone…or it might be amazing.

Vibrations.

It’s the way I feel when I walk into a grocery store and feel like I don’t belong because I stick out like a sore thumb.  

I realize it is all silly and irrelevant.  I mean, who actually cares about the strangers who are standing beside them picking out the right flavor of baked beans?  No one is seriously meant to feel like they “fit in” at a grocery store.

So why do I feel so much like an outsider right now?

It’s a different world down here in the south, and it’s not all bad, so don’t get me wrong.  My backyard backs up to what looks like a dense version of our favorite camping spot on the rim.  I can hear the locust and smell the trees.  

And can we just talk for a minute about the speed of life here?!  Maybe that’s why I feel like an outsider.  I’m used to the hectic pace of the daily grind, but here?  

Well, let me take you on a little coast to coast tour.

To begin, meet California—the state where everyone rushes as if they are late to their own funeral.  There are no heeded speed limit signs, no semblance of calm, and definitely no waving as you pass by someone on the street.

Next up, Arizona.  Think friendly, but rushed.  You don’t fit in unless you run all yellow lights and don’t even think about slowing for construction zones.

And then, there’s Georgia.  The first time I went to a store, I thought that everyone must move in slow motion.  No one was in a rush.  At all.

On my walk yesterday, I was sauntering across someone’s driveway (as one would at the end of a two mile walk in 90° temps and humidity).  Naturally, at that same moment the owners were waiting to pull in their golf cart to the driveway.  Of course, I apologized.  Their response was a friendly, “Oh! You’re fine!” (In that sweet southern accent.) And they just waited.  Happily.  Patiently.  With not a single ounce of rush in them.

The clock just works differently down here.  And I don’t think I hate it.

The vibrations of that minute hand ticking just hit differently when you can hear the crickets and see the stars.  

Vibrations.  They tell me things.

They tell me when to go for it and when to hold back.  They tell me when to bare my soul to new friends and when to keep my guard up.  

Those vibrations push me towards big goals, even if they also bring the anxiety that comes with the task.

Those vibrations have gotten me where I am, and they’ve never led me astray.

They tell me this move, this place…it’s good.  Those vibrations were so strong last night that I could almost see them in vivid color.  We spent the night in what seems like a flashback to the past.  Kids running around with sparklers…neighbors, and strangers, talking…cars and golf carts parked around the “town square” to see the fireworks.  It was seriously something out of Mayberry.  

It doesn’t feel like it’s home yet, but I feel those vibrations.  

And I think, “Maybe, just maybe, this move wasn’t a big mistake.”

Maybe one day soon, I’ll feel less like an outsider in the baked bean aisle, and I’ll be the one telling someone, “Oh, you’re fine!”  Maybe I won’t be so terrified of finding a new nail salon.  And a new doctor.  And dentist.  And ALL the things.

And maybe one day soon, I’ll be writing this from the comfort of furniture in my house.  (Insert eye roll here.)

Until then…

Be grateful (for a slow pace of living), water your own grass (unless it rains…it does that a lot here),

…and drink coffee.

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