So we're moving to Texas. It's a huge move, but it's really exciting. There's still a lot to do -- packing, cleaning, etc. -- but more importantly people to see and love on before we leave.
Our wonderful friends threw us a going away party this past weekend, and some of my favorite people showed up. It was a really great night. It reminded me of how many amazing people I know, how supportive and loving they are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
This move is bittersweet. It's an exciting adventure that leads to a beautiful coastal town, but I'm leaving behind the city I love -- Columbus. It's a chance to meet new people and have new experiences, but I'm leaving behind the people and experiences I've grown to love so deeply. It's a place with no winter, but I'm leaving behind..............okay that part I'm not sad about. You can keep winter. Eff winter.
But in all seriousness, I will miss so many things and so many people. I'll always be an Ohioan at heart and will look forward to my visits back home -- even if I have to brave the winter weather that will seem even MORE unbearable than it was before. It's totally worth it.
This is gonna get a little sappy, so bear with me....................
To my co-workers: When I had all but given up on my job search, you took a chance on me and my confusing resume. You helped me build and expand my skill set, shared your knowledge and wisdom, and made work fun. You accepted me with my sailor mouth, bare feet in the office, and my tendency to overshare. I will genuinely miss you.
To my neighbors: Thanks for welcoming us to the community and making us feel like we were truly at home. You could've ignored us, but instead you took us in, drank with us, fed us, shared stories with us, and treated us as family. We won't soon forget your warmth and hospitality.
To my praise-band family: We've been through a lot in the past 5-6 years, but I know I always have a place I can call home if you're there. Thank you for inviting me to make beautiful music with you this past month. I know that our reunion was short lived, but nothing can replace it. The musical chemistry that exists on that stage is beyond compare. The joy I get out of watching each and every one of you speak through your instruments is incredible. You are amazing musicians, people, and friends. I've missed you before, and I'll miss you again.
To my friends: There are no words to describe just how much I will miss you. You've helped me through every major (and not so major) event since I was 18. We've failed together, we've succeeded together, and we've learned together. We've laughed a lot, we've cried a lot, we've drank a lot (a lot..........), and we've become adults together. You're the family that found me in midst of all the chaos and claimed me as one of your own. And thank God you did -- I'd be lost without you. You can expect many epic phone calls in the future, because I will miss the hell out of you and your faces.
To my family: This is hard. It's REALLY hard. I know that you're worried, and that your concern comes from a good place, but everything is going to be okay. I'm going to be okay. The fact that I'm moving doesn't mean that I don't love you to the moon and back, or that I won't miss you like crazy, or that I won't think about you every day. But now more than ever I need your love and support. And most of all, I need you to just be happy for me. I'm happy, so be happy for me, and know that I love you with all of my heart. Nothing will ever change that.
It's been real Columbus. I'm sure we'll meet again someday. After all, this is home.
But looks at these pictures, dude..............there's a beach........like right there. Just sayin'..........
When do you know that you're making the right decision? It's not like the heavens open up and some ethereal voice confirms that you are in deed making the right decision. So how do you know? In a way.............you don't.
I think the real test is to be able to look back at a decision you made...........and even if you could change it, you wouldn't. Not that I think I've done everything "perfectly" in my life so far (I certainly haven't), but as far as most big things go I really can't see myself having made different choices. I think this quote sums it up pretty well:
My choice in college
Sure I could've gone elsewhere and spent less money..................but the music instructors I worked closely with were amazing. They helped me find the things that truly speak to me as a person and a musician. Obviously there are incredible instructors elsewhere, but it seemed as though these particular people were tailored to me. We just fit.
I met my best friends during college. And to this day they still are. Some of us don't see each other as often as others, but I love them all dearly. They are some of the most amazing people I know and they have helped me through some incredibly tough times. And as my best friend and I have found out, our relationship transcends distance. We always pick up right where we left off -- every time -- even if that means a 6 hour phone call that goes until 5am.
Moving to Tennessee
Did I leave promptly after I finished my MBA? You bet your sweet patootie I did. But regardless of Nashville not being the right fit for me, I wouldn't change my decision to go there. The plan was never to move there permanently anyway. The sole purpose was always the MBA at that particular school, and then we'd see if we liked it and what opportunities arose. It just so happens that we didn't like it and there really wasn't anything to keep us there. So we moved back. But I met some awesome people throughout my MBA program.............I had new experiences in an unfamiliar place............and most importantly, I got to go to freakin' South Africa!!!!!
Okay, well actually the MOST important thing was that Will and I learned how to be each other's support system. It was definitely hard to be away from friends and family, but we figured out that if we have each other we can do anything. He's my person. That experience made us even stronger than we already were, and it turns out that we're pretty awesome together...........
Obviously there have been many other life decisions beyond those two, but those are the ones that always stick out to me. I think it's because they both are centered on bettering myself, new experiences, and connecting with people.
The moral of the story
It's so important to get outside of your bubble and live life, but in order to do that you have to GO do it. That can mean different things for different people. Some people will never move out of their hometown, and that's fine! If that's where your heart is and that's where your experiences are.....great! Some people will do the exact opposite -- live like nomads and never set down roots, because there's just too much to see and do. That's also awesome!
Whatever your definition of living life to the fullest is...............go do that, because life is too short not to. Our lives shouldn't be defined solely by our careers and our possessions -- that's an incredibly .limited view on what a "successful life" actually is. But it really depends on how you define success and how you let others define your success for you. Success can be finding real love in this crazy world full of distractions. Success can be living comfortably enough to afford your passions/hobbies. Success can be having a family. Success can be finding wonderful friends. Success can be SO many different things..............but no one should be allowed to define your success for you. So don't let them.
I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm realizing I'll never be able to please everyone. Normally that would drive me crazy, but I feel like I'm starting to let go of it.......slowly, but surely. So my life decisions are probably not the decisions you would have made -- we're different, we think differently, and we have different priorities in life. Of course we wouldn't make the same decisions! And that's okay. My definition of success may be drastically different than yours, but that doesn't matter. As long as you're happy, it really doesn't matter. So go be happy. I know I'm going to.
I'm gonna keep this short y'all. I am, how you say..........le tired.
Some days I lose my give-a-damn, and today is one of those days. Nothing is wrong -- I'm just exhausted. It's been a crazy few months, and things are about to get crazier. Like WAY crazier.
You know what sounds good right now? Canceling all obligations and plans. A nap. A big bottle of bourbon. A vacation. Another big bottle of bourbon. And probably another nap.
Well maybe not all plans, but the ones I don't feel like following through on. You know............."those plans." John Mulaney puts it best when he says that "in terms of like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin." SO true.
But all of those things sound good -- in that order.
I just feel like I need to hit the reset button -- power cycle or something. It's really hard to truly relax when you're a planner and your brain is constantly creating lists. I see them in my sleep sometimes.........it's not cool. My brain has been on overdrive lately and I think it's really close to going on strike. I feel you buddy............I feel you..............
So this is short, and probably seems like a fairly pointless blog post.........because it is. I just need a week off from my "oh so important" blog.
Besides.........you'll all survive one week without my psychobabble. You probably won't even miss me. I'm okay with that. I'm an adult. I don't need you to like me!!!
The insecure part of me desperately wants you to like me, but I'm ignoring her right now. She's dumb.
I digress. Until next week kiddos. Jamie out.
After many nights of very little sleep I decided to crash early last Thursday. I fell asleep around 10pm, which was WONDERFUL. My body woke me up at 4am, mostly because of this parental instinct that I seem to have with Mozzie (the new puppy), which was okay. I figured that Mozzie had been by himself for long enough, so I brought him upstairs to continue to sleep with us in our bed. I was definitely tired enough to go back to sleep -- apparently so was Mozzie -- but my brain decided it was time to regale me with stories of every awkward moment I've ever had. Some of it was recent, but some of it was from years ago, because why not? My brain is an a-hole.
I know I'm not the only person that does this, but I will never understand why I dwell on these awkward moments so much -- and for so long after the fact. Trust me, I would LOVE to forget about these things, or at least move on and not care, but for some reason my brain won't let me.
So at 4am it will randomly poke me and say, "Hey, remember that one time you completely blanked on the words to "You Can Always Count on Me" from City of Angels..............in front of several hundred people..............and jibberish came flying out of your mouth for like a solid minute? Yeah. That was super awkward."
Keep in mind that this was like 12 years ago. Really, brain? REALLY???
"I mean..........that was super embarrassing. You really bombed that one. Remember how terrible that felt? That really sucked."
I know! I remember, unfortunately. Thanks for bringing it up!!! Jerk................
As I've gotten older I've gained more confidence, but I also feel like I've somehow gotten more awkward at the same time. Moments such as forgetting the words to that song, while still super awkward (and apparently scarring), were a long time ago when I was in high school. All high schoolers are awkward to a certain extent, so that's normal. But I have definitely had way more awkward moments as an adult, and I tend to remember all of them. Yay........................
Not hearing what people say
Sometimes I smile and nod, because I'm deaf and can't hear/understand what someone is saying -- but it turns out that what they're telling me is a) not something to smile about, b) not something I should be nodding to, and/or c) they think I'm an idiot, or now hate me, or both.
Too many years of being in front of drummers at gigs -- I really need to invest in a good pair of ear plugs..............
Being a broken record
When autopilot kicks in and I say, "Hey, how are you?," and they say, "Fine, how are you?," and I say, "Good, thanks, how are you?" Then they either have to be polite and pretend I'm not an idiot by answering me twice, or they look at me funny and I want to disappear.
I managed to combine #1 and #2 about a month ago. This person and I greeted each other, but the greetings kind of overlapped, and she apparently had answered me -- but again, I'm deaf -- so I asked her again so I didn't seem rude. She looked at me really funny and slowly said, "I'm good.....................thanks...................." Then it dawned on me that she had already answered and I looked really dumb. I quickly walked to another area of the party. This wall looks interesting......................
Laughing out loud when it's silent
I do this one a lot........................Remembering something funny and laughing -- out loud -- and of course it's dead silent when I do. Then I look like someone who hears voices, and apparently thinks those voices are hysterical. I also will laugh at something, and then after the moment has passed, decide that it's still really funny and laugh some more. It's not a subtle laugh either -- it's a burst of laughter that startles people. That always gets me some interesting looks as well. I did that one over the weekend. I'm so awkward........
Dancing to avoid running into people
We've all experienced the awkward "changing of lanes" that we have to do to avoid colliding with someone while walking. I'm a courteous person, so I try to move to accommodate that person, but if they're also a courteous person, we end up dancing for a ridiculous amount of time.
There is a particular woman where I work that this happens with at least once a week. I'm not exaggerating in the least. There must be some sort of magnetic force that pulls at us, making us almost collide on a regular basis. It's always as we're coming around a corner or going opposite directions through the same door. I have almost knocked that poor woman down so many times...............and I'm running out of things to say! It's generally awkward laughter and some terrible attempt to crack a joke. I don't think she thinks I'm funny...................
Responding to people with nonsense
This is the one I dwell on the most.................Saying something that you DESPERATELY wish you could go back in time and change. Or maybe go back in time and punch yourself right in the freakin' face -- preferably in the mouth so you can't speak. I'm not necessarily talking about saying something mean to someone and wishing you could take it back -- I mean, that sucks too -- but I'm talking about normal conversational stuff. Like wishing you had chosen words that made sense, or words that didn't make you sound like you didn't understand the English language -- even though you've been speaking it for decades..........and it's the ONLY language you know how to speak. After the fact I'll think to myself, "Of all the things you could have said........why that? Were you drunk? No, you weren't -- so what the hell???"
Person: "Hi Jamie. How are you?"
Me: "I like blueberries!!!"
Person: "Okay then......................"
Me: "My hair hurts."
I do and say SO many other awkward things, but my brain isn't allowing me to remember them now that I'm actually purposefully trying to recall the moments. Such an a-hole.
The older I get, the more ammo my brain has to fire at me, because each year I "collect" more awkward memories -- some make for really great stories though. Like this one..............
That one time I embarrassed myself during a funeral in a Catholic church..............
Will's family is Catholic, so when Will's grandfather passed away a few years ago, the service was held in a Catholic church -- naturally. I had actually never attended a Catholic service before, so it was all very new to me -- I grew up Methodist. Will told me that it would mean a lot to his grandmother if I took part in communion (Eucharist). I've always been told that that's a no-no. If you're not Catholic, you don't participate in Eucharist. I respected that, so I told him that I wasn't allowed. He kept trying to convince me, and I said, " Your grandma knows I'm not Catholic -- this is a bad idea." I was also convinced that the priest would be able to sense that I wasn't Catholic and I would be in trouble or something. I don't know -- I'm neurotic sometimes. Eventually he talked me into it, and I followed him towards the line.
I was watching everyone very carefully to make sure I did everything right when it was my turn. I saw a few people open their mouths and have the priest place the wafer on their tongue, but for the most part everyone was taking the wafer from the priest and doing it themselves. I wanted to do the latter -- having him feed me seemed really weird. Will went first -- he took the wafer from the priest, put it in his mouth and moved on. I tried to take the wafer from the priest, and he pulled back. I tried again and he pulled back further. It was like he was playing keep-away with the freaking wafer. So even though I REALLY didn't want to do this, I leaned forward and opened my mouth, because he clearly wasn't going to let me take it. He looked at me like I was crazy and very reluctantly fed me the wafer. I had no idea what that was about, and I could feel my face starting to turn red, but I moved on anyway.
I watched Will physically take the wine chalice from the lady and drink from it, so I tried to do the same. SHE FOUGHT ME!!!!! We tugged back and forth on the wine chalice for a bit, and then I awkwardly got close enough so that I could steal a sip, and then ran away.
I got back to the pew and the conversation with Will went like this...............
Me: "I will KILL you!!! That was the most awkward thing I've ever done. I did everything like you and they fought me the entire time!!!"
Will: "Well did you say 'amen' beforehand?"
I'm sure the look on my face made Will think I was actually going to strangle him with my bare hands.
Me: "You......didn't........tell me.........to say........'amen'..............." (All spoken through gritted teeth)
"I grew up Methodist! There is no 'magic word' you have to say. They just give you the thing and say their spiel, and you eat or drink it. I told you they'd know I wasn't Catholic!!!"
Now I think it's funny, but I definitely didn't at the time. I was so mad at him...................
Regardless, I'm awkward............you're awkward..............we're all awkward in our own ways. I guess it's part of what not only makes us unique, but also makes it so that we can relate to each other. Plus, what we see as awkward in ourselves is not always what other people see. I've lost count of how many times people have commented on my confidence, and I'm thinking, "Who, me?," and turning around like they may be talking to someone behind me. So maybe I'm not as awkward as I think I am. Or maybe I am. Meh. At least I have some good stories to tell over drinks.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."