December, 2009

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Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Tomorrow is a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate.

I like markers.  I like new beginnings.  I like boundaries that separate “this” from “that.”  It gives me a sense of control, however misperceived.

2010 is a year of starting over, in almost every way that I possibly could – even in ways that I didn’t ask for and don’t want to.  New city.  New home.  New people.  The “new people” part is the part I really don’t like – I’ll be honest, I don’t really want any new people.  I like the people that I already have, thankyouverymuch.

But I think back to 2 years ago when I moved to Nashville, and I could not believe that I had left Seattle.  I spent the first 6 months with one foot still in the Northwest, convincing myself that the relocation was temporary, and that I would be returning sooner rather than later.  I tried to freeze my long-distance friendships – like frogs under the ice, just biding time until the waters thawed and they could once again swim freely.

But that day never came.

And you know what?  I’m glad.

I exchanged something very good in Seattle for what turned out to be something very good in Nashville.  Incredible friends.  Amazing experiences.  Growth and challenges and hilarity and LIFE.  I would not trade my two years in Nashville for anything I once had in Seattle – not because it was better than what I had in Seattle, but because I have now experienced it, and it’s mine.

You can’t give back what is now yours.  I wouldn’t want to.  Not even the hard stuff.

So as I head up to Denver today to get the keys to my new apartment, and I wait for my furniture to be delivered next week, and I start working in the office on Monday, and I drive around this massive urban sprawl that seems so foreign and gigantic, I want to be present.  I will leave my heart wide open to the people in front of me – not forsaking my far-flung, beloved friends, but hopefully, gracefully, allowing those relationships to change.  This is the only way to truly live.

Even though I didn’t really ask for it, I chose it, and I CHOOSE it.  I’m excited for what Denver might hold.

But, um, friends?  Please come visit me in 2010.  I miss you already.

December 30

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Today is the penultimate day of the year, the second-to-last, one that is forever burned into my brain like a brand.

One year later, and I’m no closer to understanding “why.”  I don’t think I ever will.

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: God is good.  But life’s a bitch.

All I can pray is that the words of Psalm 34:18 are true: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  I hope that is true.  If God is close to those who cry, then he must be very, very near today.

Jeff, Carin, and Ryan – and the Towne and Bushnell clans – all my love.

I’ll never work(out) in this town again

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

My parents recently enrolled in a gym called Fitness 19 – named such because it’s open 19 hours a day.  Oh, Coloradans – you are so clever with your words!

Due to her recent surgeries, Mom hasn’t been to Fitness 19 in awhile – leaving her membership card available to yours truly.  My workouts on Saturday and Sunday were awesome – convincing me that I might actually acclimate to Mile High altitude, finally get the runner’s booty, and basically win the Nashville half-marathon that I’m registered for in April.  So last night, I went again.

I handed my (mom’s) card to the man behind the counter, and he scanned it.  “Thanks, Susan,” he said.  I smiled at him, and went to the magazine rack to choose some smut to read while on the treadmill.

“Wait – Susan?”

I froze.

“Susan, I think there’s a problem.”

I slowly turned around and faced him.

“Susan, when is your birthday?”

My mind raced.  “June 21.”

“What year?”

My mind raced even faster.  “Nineteen fifty-fii… SHOOT.”  I said it out loud.  “SHOOT.”

“You were not born in the fifties.”

And then, some bizarre calm overtook me.  Like a sociopath, I cooly stated, “You are right.”

He was serious.  “This is not your card.”

Again, conscienceless, “No.  It’s my mom’s.”

He was adamant.  “You cannot work out using another person’s membership.”

“Okay.”  Pregnant pause.  “But can I work out right now?”

He let me run for 40 very awkward minutes on the treadmill.  I ran like I have never run before.  It will be the last that Fitness 19 ever sees of me.

Resident

Monday, December 28th, 2009

According to the internets, I am a Colorado resident once I meet one of the following criteria:

•    I have obtained employment in Colorado.
•    I own or operate a business in Colorado.
•    I have resided in Colorado continuously for 90 or more days.

Well, I moved here with a job.  So.  That’s that.  We’ll see if I actually switch my license plates or drivers license over; as of today, they are still from the great state of Washington – a place I haven’t lived for over two years.

For those of you keeping track, I had a trip to Seattle scheduled for this week – to ring in the New Year with some of my not-so-nearest, but definitely dearest.  But I’m sad to say that this weekend, I canceled my ticket.  I thought that the hard part would be leaving Nashville, but I was wrong; the emotional locomotive hit me once I got to Colorado – and I think it would be wise for me to have some downtime before officially moving to Denver next week (I start in the Denver office a week from today, although I’m working remotely from Colorado Springs this week).  I’m super bummed to not be seeing my beloved Seattlites this week – but I’ll be there for a wedding in February.

I drove around Denver on Saturday.  It is gigantic.  As I drove the hour south back to my parents’ house, two fat tears rolled down my cheeks from behind my sunglasses.

This might take awhile.

Maybe not the most festive post, but…

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I need to tell you about yesterday’s drive.

Wait.  First, Merry Christmas.  Merry Christmas!  It’s heeeeeeere!

Now for the rest.  It should be obvious by the fact that I’m posting this blog, but lest you wring your hands throughout the holidays, I should let you know that I made it to Colorado last night.  The trip took me 11 hours rather than the typical 9, but all in all, smooth (albeit white-knuckled) sailing.  The roads really were icy.

As I drove, I was thinking that one of the worst insults someone could give me would be to call me a bad driver.  That would connote incompetence and stupidity – neither of which I’m really going for the gold in.  And after yesterday’s drive, I am even more convinced that when it comes to driving, I am extremely proficient.

There was only one moment in which I kind of lost control of the car.  I say kind of because it was when I was going over a bridge, and the ice is always worse on bridges, but you HAVE to drive over them to get to the other side – so I couldn’t do anything about it.  Anyway, when I hit the ice, I felt the wheels spin and try to grip the road, but they didn’t find anything – isn’t it weird that we can FEEL when the tires are freaking out? – so they spun more, which made the car lurch, and the Honda CATAPULTED forward.

If my heart were a horse, in that moment, it would have reared up on its hind legs.

Luckily, dry pavement was waiting on the other side, and everything was recovered (minus my pulse).

So, all in all, an inconsequential story.  Sorry.

In the entire 11-hour drive, I only stopped once – in Hays, Kansas, at 2:06pm for gas and lunch.  But I was severely disappointed to discover that every fast food joint had closed at 2:00 for Christmas Eve.  My only option was to go to a little grocery store called Dillon’s and choose a sad, underwhelming sandwich from a rack near the deli: wheat bread, Swiss cheese, and turkey – the watered down kind.  There were no condiments.

I also picked up a Gala apple, but the first bite I took of it included a significant chunk of my lower lip.  I cussed, and then felt sorry for myself because I could no longer eat the apple with gusto.

When I finally hobbled in the door at my parent’s house in Colorado Springs, I announced that all I want for Christmas is a butt massage.  No one offered.

Happy Christmas to all of you!

Snow and angels

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

My deficit of sleep and surplus of emotion have left me with a raging case of stress acne.  Just in time for Christmas!

This Christmas Eve morning finds me in Kansas City, having driven out of Nashville yesterday without crying a single tear.  Scrape a face off Mt. Rushmore to make room for mine – I’m hard as stone.  Actually, I think I’m just tired of crying.  I’ve cried a lot these past few weeks in anticipation of this move – because as convinced I am that it’s the right decision, it still hurts my heart like whoa.

The plan is to continue on to Colorado today.  There’s a blizzard stretching all along I-70, growing progressively worse the further west you go.  So all that “I’ll be home for Christmas” talk?  Might be IN YOUR DREAMS, sucker.

But if the past is any indication, there are angels that fly with my Honda.  May it be so today – and for you, too, if you’re traveling.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas casserole

Monday, December 21st, 2009

This weekend, Facebook really chapped my ass (a phrase that I have recently decided is very worth using).  I tried to upload pictures from the JAM House Christmas Spectacular – at which we had a fantastic time and packed our home with more people than we ever imagined – but the old ‘Book translated my vibrant images into dull, grey-toned disappointments.

See?

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Why??  Facebook has let me down.  People need to know that my dress was not forest, but EMERALD.

That said, those two gentlemen flanking me?  The one on the left is my new friend Matt (SHOUT OUT), and the one on the right is Paul – or PZC, as he is known on this here blog.  Paul – besides being one that I outright avoided a goodbye with last night because it would have made me cry way too hard and so it was easier to pretend that none of this is actually happening – is the one who made a makeshift vocal booth for me in his closet when we recorded a song back in October.

Now, that song is finished – listen!

Lines of Love by annieparsons

That’s Matty Rineer on lead vocals – isn’t he great?  Actually… I’ve never met him, just recorded backup vocals for this song that he wrote and had already recorded the lead parts for.  So don’t take my word for it – he could be a psychopath.  And didn’t Pauly do a fantastic job with the recording and mixing?

On Saturday, multiple strong and manly gentlemen showed up at the house to help me load my pod.  Let me just say, I highly recommend the ABF ReloCube – as well as having generous and rugged man-friends.  In one hour – ONE HOUR – my entire life was packed into a 6’ x 7’ x 8’ box.

relocube

Day after tomorrow, I leave.  Ice storms are in store.  I hope the Honda makes it.  I hope I make it.  I hope I don’t spend Christmas morning in a ditch.

I will never have roommates again.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

And no, not because it’s been so awful.

Only because nobody else could ever, ever compare.

jam2

jam1

j_a_m

jam4

jam5

jam6

I will always be a JAM girl.

And now, excuse me while I go weep.

Closing in

Monday, December 14th, 2009

We are down to single digits: I am moving in 9 days.

And yes, I have Christmas parties 6 of the next 9 nights.  I might run out of outfits.

That said, posting may be light until after I get to Colorado.  I don’t want to miss out on a single moment of Nashville until I have to.  The thought of leaving these friends of mine – the ones I just tried to list by name and then had to stop because it would have been too long to read – keeps me awake at night.

I want to love on these people who have loved me for two years.  I want to write them each letters and tell them exactly why I appreciate them, exactly why I am going to miss them so much my heart might dissolve.  I want to sit face to face with them, and hear their voices.  I want to hug them while I can still touch them.  I want to take pictures with them, to capture this sliver of time that is flying by much too quickly.  I want to let them know that I believe in them, that I want good things for them – that, quite simply, I adore them.

Nashville, get ready for some lovin’.

Four riveting lists

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Next week’s Christmas parties:

  • Sunday night
  • Monday night
  • Tuesday night
  • Wednesday night
  • Thursday night
  • Friday night
  • Saturday night

All I want for Christmas:

  • Big, cheapo gold hoop earrings (so I can look fly)
  • Earbuds that hook over my ears (to wear when I run all by my lonesome)
  • A new guitar capo (someone stole mine from my room)
  • A very small box for my three tiny Christmas presents

Things I will miss about Nashville:

  • The JAM House
  • City Church
  • East Nasty
  • The Bluebird Café
  • “Lost” nights with friends

Things I am glad I am not:

  • Kidney stone passer
  • Road-kill scraper
  • Junior higher