Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Westward ho!

We stayed at crappy cheap motels and ate fantastic food. We listened to our 10 or so cds (that was poor planning) until we couldn't stand them anymore and restocked at a truck stop. We sang the first lines to country songs about the places we were driving through and then had to call our parents to get the rest of the lyrics. We froze our asses off in south Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma and watched the dashboard thermometer slowly rise when we reached Texas.

Sunset over the Mississippi, Memphis TN

We apologized profusely to Ramona at each turn in the road (she gets carsick) and considered sending a postcard to the Amish farm where she was born. She was excited to explore at all our stops - I can't possibly imagine the barrage of new smells she was experiencing - but seemed fairly certain we were intending to abandon her somewhere along the road (we wouldn't dream of it).

Eiffel Tower of Paris (Texas)

We took our time, stopping to see the sights (the Eiffel Tower of Paris, Texas) and taking detours when necessary (to see Oklahoma, neither of us had been to that state before). We followed my inferior map skills down a mud road along the Arkansas/Oklahoma border and I did not mention the lack of cell phone service.

Beale St, Memphis TN

We had bbq in Nashville and then again that night for dinner in Memphis because, well, do I really need to elaborate on that one? We laughed ourselves silly over jokes I can't recall, marveled at the changing landscapes, and decided we wouldn't choose to live in rural Arkansas. We made friends at a dog park in Dallas and walked in a meteor crater near Odessa.

Odessa Meteor crater

We discussed "issues" and movies and music. Cam read his book and I tried not to fall asleep. We detoured to take a picture at Rosa's Cantina and ate green chile burritos while ladies in impossibly high stiletto boots played pool.

Down in the West Texas town of El Paso...

We arrived in Tucson after four (I think... they sort of blend together after a while) days on the road. Now we are settling in at my parents guesthouse, moving furniture and making plans. Absolutely thrilled that we actually pulled this off. I feel like making this crazy scheme come true set a good precedence for a life full of possibilities.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011: Hello!

2011 is going to be a big year for me. C and I will be getting married in July. We will probably be moving - the place has yet to be decided. I took the GRE right before Christmas and am considering the options for grad school.

The excitement has actually already begun, as I quit my job as of the end of December and have embarked with C. on a cross-country journey to live for a couple months in Arizona. We are in Virginia at the moment, having spent the holidays with his family here.

This was my first Christmas away from my family and I expected awkwardness, homesickness, and general feelings of woe; but C's family is so affectionate and have taken me in so warmly that I didn't feel out of place at all. I think that's a good sign as we will most likely be celebrating many more holidays together in the future!

As always whilst on vacation - and even more so with the New Year and all the attending expectations of change and resolve - my mind turns toward possibilities and plans for the future. Right now this potential is magnified by the very real need to replace my forsaken income (what was I thinking! - is what I ask my self quite frequently) and my own internal insistence on figuring out just what the hell I want to do with my life. I am still adjusting to a suspicion that growing up does not mean acquiring an automatic knowledge of grown up information (how to decide on an insurance plan, for instance, or what exactly is a realistic savings goal for two basically unemployed twenty-somethings).

After my first euphoria at being on the road - literally as well as figuratively - the worries began to creep in. Or to be honest, they hit me square on the head as I attempted to fall asleep. What are we doing? What am I doing? I had a fantastic job in a time when so many are searching without luck for any type of employment. My accessible savings are quite limited and I have no game plan for the immediate future as far as paying bills. The relaxation of the holidays has now passed and I am beginning to feel that I am just being lazy. Sleeping late and watching Parks and Recreation until mid-afternoon is great and all, but doesn't help my pocketbook. I am loaded with ideas on what I want to do next, but there is a necessary waiting period involved with our travel plans. I am starting to get antsy.

However. Right now, I am sitting in an incredibly comfortable chair with a mug of delicious coffee, next to a cozy fire in my future-mother-in-law's lovely home. I have so many people - my family and C's family and our amazing friends - in my life. I have a head brimming with creativity and a drive to make something of myself and my world in some way. I have a lot to figure out this year, but ever so much to look forward to.