The suitcase was decently heavy, but nothing she couldn't manage. She'd taken this trip numerous times and had carried bulkier luggage than what was currently in her hands. The all-too-familiar routine was already going through her head: walk to the train station, get to work, make sure the boss' schedule is set and all the emails are answered and the files are organized in their proper folders, take the train to the airport in the mid-afternoon, depart on flight #1, have a one-hour layover somewhere, depart on flight #2, finally land at home. Yeah, she has this down pat.
Photo by Josh Sorenson
It's funny to her, the amount of time and money she spends going between both of her "worlds." One world consists of her job, apartment, roommates, friends, and fun weekend plans such as sleeping in (yes, sleeping in is fun when you've had a nonstop week of work and after work activities), game nights, church, hiking, and catching up with friends she doesn't get to see very often. Being a young professional in an urban, fast-paced environment is exciting…and exhausting.
Her other "world" consists of family, childhood friends, big city suburban sprawl, and normal life. She misses that normalcy of walking out the front door with her siblings and hopping in the car, driving across town to watch her little brothers play in their soccer games and her not-so-little-anymore sister compete in track. She misses visiting her older sister at work. She wishes she could see more of her brothers who are close in age to her. One of those brothers is married now and the other is just a year away from graduating from college. They grow up so fast.
Mid-afternoon approaches quickly. She changes into comfortable clothes for the eight-hour journey home. Saying goodbye to her boss, she heads out of the office and down the street to the train station. She works in such a cool city; so much going on all the time. She has an amazing boss and fantastic coworkers. She loves her job. "The Lord is so good," she often reminds herself. It's easy to be ungrateful, to complain about the ridiculously high cost living in this city, to grumble about how often it rains, and the humidity the rain brings with it. But this city has an opportunity unlike any other, and it's where God has her right now. She's thankful for His grace and kindness.
Getting through security at the airport went quicker than she anticipated. Finding her gate, she parks her backpack on the floor by her feet and plugs in her phone to charge. She laughs to herself as she looks around. She still can't believe that she ended up working in this city. After a week-long tour of the city with her grandparents when she was 14, she thought it would be so cool to live and work here. Now she does.
Photo by LUM3N
The announcement comes over the speakers. It's time to board the plane. Countless times she's come to this airport to fly home. Countless times she's landed at this airport after visiting home. Here she is again, chasing the sunset as the plane flies west. As she looks out the window at the tiny towns below, the flaming ball of yellow and orange fades in the sky. It's the perfect reminder that nothing in this life lasts forever. Enjoy every season, whether it's being settled down somewhere or chasing sunsets.
Photo by Suhyeon Choi
P.S.: she wrote this while chasing a sunset.