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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Moving: All to come, All that is left behind

Moving is hard work.  Organizing your entire life into tiny boxes is not fun.  Hauling boxes to moving trucks, moving containers, or USPS is exhausting.  But honestly… the really hard work comes in the weeks preceding the move and I am not talking about boxes.

My last Memphis sunset as a resident
Many people tried to warn me of moving to Memphis last year.  “The crime is terrible, the racism is substantial, and the city is fragmented, poor, and unhealthy.”  Yep, after one year, I agree.  But guess what?  All of these undesirable characteristics exist in practically every city, just to a greater or lesser extent.  I have found happiness here, as well as equality and cultural richness.  Ultimately, however, I did not find my future employer and now must depart this Mississippi River city.  

Painting the Memphis Blues with Deidra

Next destination:  Gainesville, Florida.  The last time I lived in Florida it was 12 years ago and I had just graduated from University of Florida en route to Atlanta.  It is to there I return as a very different person.  I have accepted a position at UF Health Shands Hospital at the University of Florida.  This hospital is an enormous >900-bed facility possessing enormous growth potential in my role as a Clinical Registered Dietitian.

As the hours and days ticked down at home in Memphis, I realized more and more how much I liked the routine I had developed over the year in my calm, agreeable life: Friday night adult ballet class at Collage Dance Collective, a small, yet burgeoning collective ballet studio. Saturday morning yard sales and Bartlett Farmer’s Market then to Lichterman Nature Center for several hours volunteering with fellow gardeners in the Plant Propagation Center.  Monthly meeting and snacks among peers and friends of a medical support group.  My cute, quiet apartment, (very) quirky neighbors, and garden of two dozen peppers plants (hot, sweet, bell, I like 'em all!) all made it home.  My workout gym, the Church Health Center, produced not only gallons of sweat but also peals of laughter and friendship.  I really loved some of these routines, but most importantly I will miss my friends I have made in the Bluff City the most.  I was invited into people’s homes during the holidays, to family barbeques, accepted not just as an acquaintance but also as a friend like family. 

With Jane (& Jim behind the camera)
As an adult, it becomes more difficult to make new friends, especially really good, hopefully lifelong friends.  Early after my move to Memphis a visiting friend from Florida (Karla) introduced me to two of her North Mississippi friends (married couple) over brunch one Sunday morning.  What I did not realize that afternoon was how important these two people would become to me during my time here and how much they would shape my experiences.  Undoubtedly my friends Jane & Jim have profoundly entered my life and hopefully will never depart.  I did not expect to make new lifelong friends during this short year, but I did, and they were my biggest regret at leaving.  I cannot imagine my life without them in the future.

Travis & Charlotte's rooster in Pontotoc, MS
Ultimately, however, cardboard boxes, packing tape, two small moving containers, and employment start date entered my life with a deadline.  It took me 5 nights to traverse 710 miles as I visited friends and family along the way.  In Pontotoc, MS, I visited a family that used to include a former patient and family Travis & Charlotte, whom are now known to me as my extended family.  Two nights were occupied in Atlanta, GA with two of my best friends Mike & Bruno that have been in my life for well over a decade, and hopefully several decades more.  One overnight was spent in Lawrenceville, GA with a John & Margie whom are not only my friends, but also serve as a sound parental advice board.  They also cook divinely and make their own wine!  Finally a last night in Athens, GA, which started as happy hour with a hilariously honest former classmate Anna, and ended at ‘The Barn’ eating chocolate cake at midnight with Marcus & Don.  Six days later, I pulled into the country ramparts of High Springs, FL, at home with my second family Billy & Elaine, with whom I spent the next 1.5 weeks until my apartment was readied for move-in!  Transition nearly complete.
High Springs, FL

Memphis <3 graffiti love
Memphis <3 graffiti love

Guess what's inside two trash cans?
A snuggled lamp!
My moving container, find the lamp!

1 comment:

  1. awww... thank you! i have lived here for almost my entire life, and for that year you were my best friend and my go-to person, for everything from movie dates to weird cooking adventures to the worst day of my life (up to then) - when my dad died. i too hope that you will be forever in my life. i miss you so much!! and can't wait to see you next month WHEN I'LL ALREADY BE RETIRED FOR 3 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i (we) love you. :)