Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Taillights and Twizzlers (Don't ask)

I've been asked a few times why I write this blog. What purpose does it serve to just piece together a string of thoughts filled with sarcasm and wit from a twenty something year old? And I simply answer that I write about my life from my own perspective. Some times people will agree with what I have to say and other times people will shake their head and declare that I probably need therapy. But at the end of the day, when I hit the "publish" button, my simple hope is to touch just one person who may be going through the same thing that I am. Who may be at the same point in their life and they can find some kind of solace in knowing that there is a crazy sugar addict out there who is rowing the same boat and is more than happy to pick up some extra passengers (life vest required... it's all fun and games until someone falls out of the boat obviously). So when my head is filled with thoughts and confusion or happiness and positivity, I sit down at this keyboard and type.

Today just happens to be one of those days (which means it's your lucky day because you get to read all about the my current life status). In exactly one month and three days (who's counting?) I turn 30. I'm one of the last to do so in my close group of friends so I have some older and wiser folks who have already hit the big 3-0 this year to guide me into this new phase of my life. Please do not think for one second that this is going to be an "I'm sooo old" post because as a historian I know what old is. And until I am sitting in a nursing home playing Parcheesi with my roommate who doesn't know my name, I'm not old. The prospect of turning 30 doesn't scare me. What scares me are the changes that come with it and the questions I'm faced to answer as I enter a new decade of my life. 

My twenties were filled with absolutely everything imaginable. You name it, I experienced it. Accidentally moving into the projects and not knowing if the bang I just heard was a muffler or a gun so I hit the ground anyway? Been there and have my Girl Scout badge to prove it. Tornadoes, a thousand year flood, locusts and Nashville's really weak trees falling? Yup. Break-ins and a stalker? Metro police and I are on a first name basis. And we won't even talk about how many trips to the ER I have taken. The hospitals in this area just smile and wheel me back asking about my folks, cats and thesis. 

The advent of my thirties brings about a clean slate perhaps. A tabula rasa if you will (putting 7 years of Latin to good use finally). And as I look to the changes that are coming just days after the clock strikes midnight, I already know my life is entering a new chapter filled with huge changes and unprecedented decisions I will be forced to make. I'm at a crossroads where one road leads to comfort and familiarity and the other leads to the unknown and unnerving change. 

My best friend is moving. And I mean really moving. We will be 1221 miles apart. We will go from being neighbors to being in different time zones and places in our lives. She will be living with her husband and my nephew, a dog named Merle, and finally living her dream as a nurse practitioner. I will no longer be the Joey that walks over for food and company from my Monica and Chandler. Who will feed me? Who will zip up my dress when I'm stuck on the bed unable to move? Who will threaten to kill boys that break-up with me? Who will tell me that the lump on my side is "not an extra rib you grew you moron" and get me to go to a doctor where I find out I have a tumor? Who will be my rock in this crazy town always there to stop me as I lace up my sneakers to run away from a boy? How do I face this new chapter in my life without her? 

I haven't found an answer to that yet. I probably won't find an answer to that even after I wave goodbye to the moving truck, go back inside my apartment, curl up in the fetal position with frosting and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's fifty times. Perhaps the answer isn't something that can be found but something that needs to be simply experienced. We've all said goodbye to loved ones knowing that goodbye is more of a "see you when I see you" situation. That's why God made the Earth round so eventually our paths will cross again. 

But what if watching her red taillights as she drives away are really a green light for me to start a new life too. I've never been good with directions (I still use my hands to make the "L" for left) but perhaps I don't need a map right now. I think if I'm going to turn 30 it means I've learned a lot and know who I am. Perhaps I should just follow wherever that green light leads me. No matter how scary it is to take your foot off the brake... hold onto the steering wheel... and hit the gas. 

Of course wearing the seat belt that holds you grounded and safe. I like to think of that seat belt (in my analogy of course) as my family and friends. And the rear view mirror as the life experiences I can see but I'm moving away from. The decision is mine to make and the road is mine to follow. 

And obviously I'll need snacks for the road.There's no hidden meaning in that reality. I just need Twizzlers to be my drum sticks for the steering wheel. 

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