Thursday, October 6, 2011
And The Sweet Comfort Comes..
For those of you who know me or have read anything I've posted over the past year or so, its not new to you for me to say, I've experienced my share of Change.
Nathan and I have now been in Orlando for almost 9 weeks.
And those 2 months have definitely been awesome and chalked full of new challenges. I guess you have to pay for your power and your water? What the hell? I thought this was America, "God bless, America, the land of free utilities" right?
We've both spent our weeks working our tails off to make rent, and also having a fair share of fun times. But somethings been holding me back. Something has been holding my comfort hostage...
Everyone in this world reacts to "change" in a completely different way. Some people adapt quickly, some people don't adapt and don't accept change whatsoever, and some (like me) take time to process. I was explaining to Nathan (my room mate) the other day its like a flower blossoming.
At first its a tight bud...
I first arrived to my new house with my brother Cooper at the very beginning of August. We drove through the night from Tennessee with my car loaded up with all my stuff that I had brought for an awesome summer in Nashville. We were both still charged from our awesome summer. We had spent hours upon hours hanging out and laughing, watching great shows, and I even got to experience my brothers first show( I can't explain in words how proud/honored/blessed I was to see that). So we arrived tired but fully charged from our summer, and parked in the drive way to my new... "Home."
We spent the next few days painting our new house and cleaning it from head to toe. We slept on air mattresses and ate sandwiches, chips and chased it with Hawaiian punch. And then just a day after arriving, I started at my new job.
The new job was different, the people were different, it all was just so different.
After about a week, my brother, my anchor for all the change, had to head back to Nashville. It was just me now to try and accept this new world.
I spent hours trying to get excited for the times ahead of us. I knew Nathan was extremely excited, and I was trying to conjure up that excitement in myself.
But all I wanted to do was just stay at the house and watch hours upon hours of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Scrubs" and listen to my Wonder Years. I just wanted to stay in the comfort...
And Then The Flower Begins to Slightly Blossom.
After a couple of weeks of being somewhat routine and reclusive, the world started to show its face a little more after week 3 or 4. I was starting to get recognized for my performance at work, we started to eat a little more than Ramen and sandwiches, and my Blink poster finally went up, meaning my room finally was becoming "My Place."
It was right around my birthday that I started to feel myself becoming a little more accustom to the house. It really helped that myy awesome Lady Friend, Jackie, had been a couple of times (including every painting session, the poor broad painted almost the whole house, and were grateful!), she really helped me to see how awesome the place really is.
It was the weekend of my birthday that I started to blossom a little outside of my neighborhood.
My eyes and spirits had grown accustom to the look at feel of Becontree Pl, but not quite with the city of Orlando.
That weekend we made a trip downtown and visited the awesome downtown library. While we were scanning through the wondrous array of books, God had plans for Jackie's passenger tire... bad plans. The Almighty decided to put a hole in her tire. By the time we returned to the car, there was no air in it whatsoever. (Ok, maybe it wasn't the Almighty who did it, but come on, its so easy to blame the guy!).
After calling a taxi to get Nathan to work on time, and directing an oblivious AAA maintenance crew member, we got air in her tire and drove it down to a tire shop. Through that experience, I really took in the city. I had to look at the roadways and street names to help figure out where the AAA agent was and how to get him to us at the corner of Jackson and Rosalind.
As strenuous as that situation could've been, it really wasn't. I'm so grateful that it happened with the people that it did, and that it helped to open my eyes to the city of Orlando.
My petals were starting to show...
The Color and Shape of The Flower Starts to Take Place
Around week 5 or 6 I took a trip down to Tampa to see the Lady Friend. As I drove down the 4 listen to Polar Bear Club's awesome EP "The View, The Life" I entered the city of Tampa. Seeing that skyline for the first time in 2 or 3 months, I saw it with new eyes. There was a sense of "home" that I felt as I passed the city. Exiting the 275, I drove down all the familiar roads and actually KNEW the roads and where I was headed.
Pulling into the Graves house for the first time was surreal. Standing before your "home" for the past year, you just want to give it a hug and ask it to take you back.
That night, Jackie and I, ate at the world's best Chinese Restaurant (Kenny, Benny,and Spennys!) and as I stared out the window I told her just how cool it was to see this city as a piece of me. Tampa, had become a piece of my life, a home of mine, and it took leaving for me to realize that.
I travelled back to Orlando with a changed perspective. Something about that weekend was like water on the dry soil. I felt the water pulling from my roots and begin to travel up and start nourishing every piece of me.
I started to look around at the environment God had brought me to. The beauty of the sunset behind my house. The gift of my house being as amazing as it is. I started to realize how truly blessed I was.
Its was around this time as well, (actually it was on my birthday!) I found out that a local music magazine (ConnectionMag), not only was going to allow me to write for them, but they were publishing one of the example music reviews I sent them with my credentials.
I excitedly drove down to our local record store, Park Ave Tapes and Records, and picked up the September issue of the magazine and saw my name printed in the paper next to a review. Despite all grammatical errors, I was proud to see my name printed down on that paper.
It was one of those moments where you take a step back, and questioned, "How did I get here?"
Before I had questioned angrily, why was I here? Why am I here in this city? Why must I always get comfortable and have to move on?!
But then I looked down and this cheap city paper, and felt accomplished.
Sure, its no Rolling Stone, It's no Nashville Scene, but it was something. It was progress, it was something I could brag about and put my finger on and say, "I've done something."
It was an awesome moment.
Since then I've written a number of other reviews for the magazine and have actually been included in the credits of the magazine for words. I not only am a contributor, but an official writer for the paper now.
Music has always been a passion of mine, and with this new outlet, I finally have a voice and a rejuvenated fire for one of my favorite things on this planet. It feels good to not just have music to be something that I find shelter in from all the change, but its actually become part of the change.
And Now We Are in Full Bloom.
A couple days ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table eating my favorite breakfast (waffles and hawaiian punch) with nathan and I told him I had a breakthrough.
I told him I finally felt comfortable.
I finally feel at home in Orlando.
The change had finally stopped being so overwhelming and had started to become my normalcy. I can't explain to you how relieving that feeling is.
A lot of great things have actually come out of the move. A lot of cool writing opportunities have shown their face, a new job promotion, an already super strong friendship with nathan has become a full fledge marriage, and of course, Charlie.
For all of you who have not met Charlie... This is Charlie.
He is our amazing pet. He has an extreme love for the game hide and seek. We're always finding his plush frame scaling the walls of our showers or hiding in the dryer. You never know where that guy is gonna be... Charlie you're crazy!
Also with the move I've learned I have a love things, I would have never guessed I would have ever loved.
Being broke, you realize that you can't just eat out all the time. Actually, you can't eat out ever unless the Graves or Jackie are in town or its Taco Tuesday at Del Taco (3 tacos for a dollar! Holy Crap! So good!). So Nathan and I have had to take some cooking lessons from Mrs. Kim, Jeff, Jackie, and my mom. In the process, I've actually found a liking to the art form. We've learned how to make variations of Chicken (BBQ Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken and Ramen) , Steak, Pork Loin, and Nathan has actually learned how to make some kick arse guacamole.
I've also found a weird joy through mowing the yard. Nathan and I live next to a noisy, cranky, funny old veteran named Larry. Larry puts all his heart and desire into his lawn care, so he expects us to do the same. The first 10 conversations I had with Larry all consisted of, "You really should mow this, you really should weed eat this, blah blah blah." But since then, I've found a comfort an odd amount of fun out of just putting the headphones in and mowing, edging and weed eating the lawn.
I feel so blessed to be able to say that my comfort is no longer being held hostage.
I've found peace and comfort in my own home, and am starting to feel pride in the house that I pay rent for. The city of Orlando is finally looking like a place that has potential and fun, and not a place I want to hide from in my room with The Wonder Years. Life is starting to take shape...
Life is always bringing new and exciting things into our lives and we all react completely differently to them.
Sometimes, we just have to let the process take place before we can fully blossom.
I am proud to say that I have blossomed and am accepting of my new world.
I thank God for where He has placed me.
It may have taken 9 weeks, but my petals are finally fully opened and accepting of the sunshine.
So if any of you guys are out there trying to find that comfort in all the change, just know its a process. Sooner or later you'll be in full blossom too. Keep your chin up, and keep comforting music (Like Transit!) blaring through your ears and you'll make it.
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: Long Lost Friend
Album: Listen and Forgive