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Monday, April 6th, 2009

This is the day – the day that I re-establish myself as a contributing member of society.  I am uniting myself with the ranks of the fully employed.

After 19 months of instability, I start at Emma this morning.

I have no idea what to expect – except that it’s going to be good.  Whatever it is, it’s going to be really good.  No more Temptress… you can now address me as the Permanentress.

When I moved to Nashville over a year ago (remember this day?), I was a little bit crazy in the head.  I HAD to be – because in order to do something as bold as moving across the country alone with no plan, one must be a small fraction insane.  I was treating the move as an open-ended “study abroad” of sorts, and knew that I was free to leave at any time, should I decide that Nashville wasn’t for me.  Finding work through a temp agency only supported my non-committal relationship with this city.

But now?  Now I have a real job.  A legitimate job.  An awesome job.  A job that tells me, “Hey, Annie, you should probably stick around and see where this road takes you.”  I’m really staying here for awhile.

Life is never quite what we expect, is it?

In this case, I’m glad.

One year

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It’s hard to believe – impossible to believe – but one year ago today I moved away from Seattle. I just went back and re-read the entry I wrote that day, and it remains one of the most honest things I have ever written; it hits at a deep place, even 365 days later… excuse me – 366. It was a Leap Year.

When I left, I didn’t have a real sense of how long I would be gone, but at my core, I hoped that it would be less than a year. You know: go find myself, get it over with already, and then quickly head home – preferably to get married and buy a house and have babies. The past year has exposed the extent to which I have desired the American Dream – I didn’t realize how much I wanted it until I willingly chose such a solo and unstable lifestyle. In my discomfort, I have longed for comfort. In my confusion, I have longed for clarity. In my chaos, I have longed for calm.

In my anonymity, I have longed to be known.

Moving is, if nothing else, very lonely.

But the past year has also taught me that life is not a checklist; it cannot be a checklist. I cannot look at my circumstances and think, “Once I get this-and-that,” or “When I achieve such-and-so,” I will be one step closer to success, wholeness, and legitimacy. I cannot expect that the American Dream is going to make me happy, because honestly, I am watching it fall flat for people all around me. A home does not equal stability. Money does not equal contentment. And most tragically, love does not necessarily equal forever.

I still hope for these things. In my most honest moments, I have a deep desire for a good and honorable man to share my life with – one whom I will love wholeheartedly and unequivocally. I want babies of my own. I want family vacations and birthday parties and a Bernese Mountain Dog and all of the wonderful goods damnably reserved for wedding registrations. I want a car with keyless entry and a house with a walk-in closet.

Maybe these things are in the cards for me. Maybe not.

But more than anything, I want to walk the road intended for me. And right now, that road continues here in Nashville. It’s all that I have, and it’s all that I am, and despite all feelings to the contrary, I am never alone.

Goodbye, Sarah

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Today marks the departure of my dear friend Sarah, who is making the big move from Nashville to Mansfield, TX, to begin a new chapter in her life. While I am excited for what the future holds for her, I am not smiling. I am sad to see her go.

Sarah and I met several years ago when I made a solo trip out to Nashville to check out the city. I didn’t know anyone here, and thought, “Who am I going to hang out with?” I proceeded to browse through MySpace profiles of people living in Nashville, came across hers, and thought that she seemed cool.

(How did I ever make friends before the internet?)

She listed chips & salsa and margaritas in her interests, had good taste in music, and was wearing a t-shirt from the Murfreesboro Testicle Festival in her profile picture (“I had a ball!”). I pulled the clumsy move of sending her an email that included the line, “I’m not creepy, I’m not socially awkward, I don’t own any cats, I’m not a prude, I’m not a ho-bag… I’m mostly just trying to decide what to do with my life, and if I end up in Nashville I’d like to hang out with you!”

And because she rules, she agreed. We met, blind date style, at the Bluebird Café, and bonded over baked brie and good music. Eventually, she came to visit me in Seattle, and our friendship was solidified.

I can honestly say that I would not be living in Nashville today were it not for her. Her consistent encouragement and support gave me the confidence to finally make the move. She set me up with a place to stay for my first 6-weeks in town, introduced me to new friends, and even gave me her old microwave. She has been a true friend, one who has made all the difference in my own life, and an instrumental person in my journey. Now, she is courageously embarking on her own adventure – leaving all that is comfortable, and moving to an unfamiliar place. My prayer is that a friend will come alongside her, just as she came alongside me.

Today marks the beginning of a new era for me: life in Nashville without Sarah. But we will always have this picture (which is the ONLY picture of us together – how can that be possible?):

To be fair, I’ll post a picture of me looking super hot. When it comes to making bad faces, I’m pretty sure that Sarah wins the “most beautiful bad face” award.

Happy trails, friend. I miss you already.

This apartment brought to you by Craigslist, and my dad’s electric drill

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Today was a day for things that needed doing. Sleeping. Drinking coffee. Cleaning. Laundry. And yes, the moment you have all been waiting for: making a video of my new little home.

I present to you: Chez Hootenannie.

New home in Nashville from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

I love it! Don’t you love it? It’s so me! And so… feminine. Woe to the man who someday weds and thus, has to share a home with Annie Parsons. I’m never getting rid of my flowered chair – you can be sure it’ll be in my pre-nup.

And now, a few things that I could not highlight in the video, but would like to call your attention to…

1) This is the wicked tile on the bathroom floor.

2) This is my random, largely functionless collection of bright colored dishes.

3) This is my oh-so-organized, color-coded closet.

4) This is my bright, pleasantly arranged medicine cabinet.

And no, that is not zit cream on the top shelf. I’m 25 – of course I don’t still get zits. Of course I don’t. Of course I don’t.

Missing my calling as a jingle writer

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Til the Water Runs Clear from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

I’m here, Mom. I miss you, too.