A lesson that I seem to keep repeating in life: Just when I believe I am on a path and I know what the future holds...something comes along to totally blow that shit to bits and I am left with fragments to scrape together to form my new reality. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not so good; but it always ends up to be exactly what was supposed to happen. And I conveniently forget this lesson and start settling in. Then, in true snow globe fashion...shake shake shake. Let's review:
Last May: I was preparing to take my annual vacation to St Pete Beach. I had just been promoted at work and was settling into my new role. My boyfriend and I were sailing along nicely, maintaining a "commuter" relationship. Life was good, I decided to redecorate my house. Changes were on the horizon; however, I had no idea.
Last December: Now married, and living in Memphis, I was experiencing a cold and bitter winter. A long December, if you will. The vicarious trauma that I had been warned about when I began my new job had wrapped itself around me like a not-so-comforting blanket. My husband lost his job. I felt like shit. I honed in on every sad thing/bad thing/tragedy that I could seek out, just to confirm my feelings that there was misery everywhere. Unfortunately, there was no shortage. My husband and I took a probably ill-advised trip to the happiest place on Earth...New Orleans. We drowned our worries in the the rum soaked cocktails and attempted to enjoy ourselves. On the way, my husband received a phone call. We didn't know it at the time, but this call would go on to change our lives.
March 2013: Our new normal is comfortable. The phone call turned out to be an offer for some contract work for my husband. The new normal consists of my husband traveling to Florida during the week and me holding down the home front. It works. I am solitary by nature, so although I missed having him here, I did not completely fall apart like so many women would. The work trauma was subsiding, I quit smoking, and I spoiled his dog (my own was already spoiled to capacity). I joined the YMCA and began attending water aerobics classes. I had resigned myself to exercising with all the old ladies since my knee prevented me from resuming the fitness methods of the olden days. Things were getting better. I began to consider grad school (again). Changes were on the horizon; however, I had no idea.
Today: My home is in shambles. My dogs are unsettled. My husband is home, no longer traveling to Florida during the week. I am exhausted. I threw away my grad school brochures. All of this sounds awful (and let's face it...typical), but the surprise is: IT IS AWESOME! It is awesome because all of this chaos is due to yet another move in my long list of address changes. In 6 days, my husband and I are moving to Florida. The phone call he received as we quietly made our pilgrimage to NOLA last December turned into a contract job, which turned into a permanent position. In Florida. So...off we go...to the other happiest place on Earth! And now, the promised list:
THINGS I WILL NOT MISS ABOUT LIVING IN MEMPHIS, TN:
1. This week the news reported on a woman who went into a Top's BBQ and tried to get a refund/exchange on a hamburger that she purchased three days before. When she did not get her way, she pushed the cash registers off the counter. The reporter interviewed the manager who had the misfortune of working the counter that day and the manager reported, "It was still a pretty burger". I'm not sure which is worse...the dumbass who brought in a three day old hamburger for a refund, or a restaurant manager who deems a three day old burger "pretty". Hopefully, Orlando will have more sophisticated criminals and I won't have to attempt to make this distinction.
2. Central Time. I never did make the adjustment when I moved to this time zone fifteen years ago. I like for my shows to start at 8pm. I like to be the first to celebrate New Year's. I like to see daylight after 8pm. SNL is supposed to start at 11:30pm. There should not be news on at 4pm in the afternoon.
3. Much as I enjoyed living in Memphis, I don't think it could be any less conveniently located to stuff I like. It is a six hour drive to anything good. Further for anything great. Flying out of Memphis is something not easily afforded and from the looks of things the last few times I did fly, the airport is about to close.
4. Again, much as I loved living in Memphis, I am glad to be moving some place that does not have to overcome anything. Memphis has a rich history of being the low man on the totem pole. Racism, corruption, cultural dearth, yellow fever, obesity, poverty...the list goes on. It is not the historical chip on the shoulder that is so bad, it is the reformers that exhaust me. The hipsters with their organic dogma, the loud racism monitors, the constant bickering over the homages to the city's dark past, the prosperity preachers (Praise Jesus and Get That Money!), city versus county versus charter versus achievement versus homeschool zealots, the drive to make 13 year olds wear condoms so as to not add to at least 3 of the population blemishes, the ugly hairy legged females hocking their trash (ahem...found objects) as art (who, exactly, is responsible for those horrible mason jar wineglasses??). Here's the deal...Memphis has a lot of black people, fat people, poor people, sick people, and stupid people. I won't miss the constant meowing from the holier than thou about what I need to be doing to help Memphis overcome everything. I'm sure Orlando has it's struggles, but struggle is so much easier to take when it is sunny and eighty degrees.
Those things being said, I feel that I am leaving Memphis at exactly the right time. The dogwoods are blooming, the air is warming up, the city is slightly less trashy in preparation for Memphis in May, and the people are nicer in the Spring. So, farewell Memphis. I enjoyed our time together, for better and for worse, but it is time for me to move on to greener pastures and sunnier skies. Don't worry, Disney attracts crazy people, so I will have plenty to "commentate" on once I get settled.
3 months ago