Thursday, July 23, 2015

Making a Home in Memphis

It was three weeks ago that I set out on this great adventure to Memphis, Tennessee. 

I had an idea what my life would look like here, but you didn't! You just knew that I was leaving my only home, leaving my only job, leaving my favorite grocery store and leaving my favorite workouts. 

I can give you a better glimpse into my new life in Memphis if you can have the patience to read. This post isn't all that I have to say, there's much more that you'll get about my infinite search for a career, how I sweat without ClassPass, what I've been cooking and friends I've made.

Living Together

I'm the stay-at-home girlfriend I always dreamed I could be. I get up in the morning and make my guy a healthy breakfast smoothie. When he rolls out of bed in the morning to put feet on the floor, I quickly take up the entire bed I'd been hogging all night anyway and fall back asleep. Thankfully he uses my hair dryer for a quick fifteen seconds in the morning, for his hair and to wake me up I assume. It gently wakes me and instantly I ask, "Smoothie?". "Yes, but you'll have to hurry because I'm late" he replies. Every morning. I race to the kitchen and blend the same tasty banana, strawberry, pineapple, spinach amazingness and steal a quick "smoothie tax" before handing over the red solo cup I assume he bought without smoothies in mind. 

The day is then spent however I want it. At the pool, exploring, job searching and napping have been some of my favorites, but I always make certain that the apartment is clean and dinner is hot and ready by the time Brian walks in the door. This is the part I'm sure he loves about coming home to me, especially since coming home used to mean immediately jumping on FaceTime and spending all night doing life on a phone or an iPad. 

Making a Home

The POD arrived Saturday morning and the contents of that container have occupied my life ever since! If you're planning a big cross-country move or just don't want to do the U-Haul thing, I'd recommend getting yourself a POD. You'll also need some super-parents like mine that made certain that everything in the container was safe, secure and easy to access on the other side. 

We impressed ourselves by getting everything into the apartment by ourselves with just one assist from a friend who lives nearby. We saved the unloading for 9pm and later to stay out of the Southern heat and to add an extra layer of difficulty with the dark sky and the mosquitos out for my blood. 

We were 100% out by Sunday night and the remaining task was to open up all of the cleverly packed boxes that held the possessions that made the moving cut. This unboxing has been my responsibility for the past three days and has included heavy furniture moving, volunteering which of his belongings could maybe go elsewhere and of course putting my lady-magic to work to make this apartment into a home. 

Having Fun

Three weeks isn't enough time to get acquainted with a city, but it's enough time to show each other how much fun we can have living together. Now that we've finished binge watching all five seasons of Game of Thrones together, we're going to have a lot more time for shenanigans. So far we've got into board games, late night swimming in the apartment pool, growler station "research", a massive run-around-screaming water fight inside the apartment, swinging at the park, Costco trips (my favorite date if you were wondering). 

Just last night he walked in the door from a long day to some island music and a pineapple filled with a delicious rum smoothie concoction. If only the weather wanted to cooperate rather than preparing for another lightning storm like we've had many days while I've been here. Fun plans coming up include seeing my cousin play at the Blues City Cafe, going to see the Memphis Redbirds play and root, root, root for the home team, check out the mega-playground I found in the middle of Shelby Farms Park, hang out with his super-awesome little sister for a week and continue making this apartment a home. Together. 

Thanks for reading if you made it this far, I'm loving this wonderful and exciting adventure!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2,438 Miles

It feels taboo and inconsiderate to publish anything other than confessions on a Wednesday, but I know you'll understand when you realize that this post is about the 2,438 mile road trip to my new home with the love of my life. 

Eight days ago I woke up with an overwhelming sense of happiness. That morning I realized that it was zero sleeps until my long distance boyfriend was coming to Portland with a one-way ticket and was prepared to drive us away to my new home. It was also the last day eve at my dream company and it was a terrifying leap of faith into the distance.  Literally.

Packing up the essentials for my first three weeks and many goodbyes with my family meant that I left work on my final day without looking back, not even to see that swoosh I long ago wanted tattooed on my body. Not even to leave from my favorite waterfall exit. Not even to drink the Kool-aid once more. My sights were set on spending my last hours in Portland with the ones I love who love me back unconditionally. 

The planned route was simple enough. Portland to Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City to Denver. Denver all the way through Kansas and Missouri to St. Louis. St. Louis to Memphis. Home. This journey on the map was 2,400 miles not accounting for the actual addresses of the hotels and houses we stopped at along the way. 

I've known it all along, but I want to tell you that life with this man is fun. The hours, the miles, the money and the achy muscles were all worth the incredible memories we'll have of this start of our lives together. We kept the trip exciting with wagers on slug bugs we'd see, cuss words out of our mouths and money we'd spend. We gave kisses for yellow cars and pets for long stretches of road. We laughed hysterically over my inexperience with pumping gas, driving long distance, depositing money at a bank and just life in general that I haven't been exposed to. 

We sighed repeatedly over the wow-this-is-really-happening euphoria we both felt the entire trip. 

These sillies along with an amazing stay with Marisa and Noah in Denver, a few thousand bugs splattered on my car, two tumbleweeds bouncing along the interstate, a booming fireworks display, a Cardinals win, some real Southern dining and zero speeding tickets made this adventure an incredible start of our lives together.

Since I've been here, I've been a busy bear. I became a member at the local gym, have taken advantage of free barre classes at a brand new studio, found a Trader Joe's impostor called Sprouts Farmer's Market that I'm going to love, replaced my iPhone after a broken screen along the way, broke a window with a dart (I'm not allowed to throw from the kitchen anymore), washed my dirty car and started making the apartment a beautiful space where we can create more wonderful memories. 

Maybe the greatest thing since I've been here was the long FaceTime with my parents on our first night. Not only was it great to see them and hear their voices, but it was heartwarming to finally be on the same side of the FaceTime screen. 

I've only begun exploring but I think I'm going to fall in love with my new home. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Adventure Begins

It's time.

Yesterday was my final day at work and as of today I'm an unemployed American leaving her family, home, city and life for a new one with new adventures in Memphis, Tennessee.

I've never moved more than 20 miles in my life and don't know what it really means to drive 2,400 miles over four days to a whole new world.

I really don't know what it means to not be able to see my parents whenever I want to, or my sisters, or my city. I really don't know what it means to have summer temperature lows of eighty degrees. I really don't know what it means to have to pump my own gas. I really don't know what it means to not have a job as an adult. I really don't know what it means to have sales tax, much less move to the state with the highest sales tax in the nation!?! I really don't know what it means to not have an endless variety of craft beers whenever I want, or have to somehow acquire a taste for Starbucks coffee rather than the local beans I've grown up with.

I really don't know, but I know I'm doing it with a guy who loves me unconditionally and have all of the faith in the world that this is going to be the greatest leap into the unknown that I've ever taken.

Thank you all for your love and support as I take on this epic adventure in my late twenties to follow my heart.

It's been impossible for my family to let their baby girl go, but they've done everything in their power to prepare me for this journey. They've given all their help packing, boxing, cleaning, donating, selling, decision-making and in a few sentimental cases storing my belongings. They are my biggest cheerleaders and I look forward to settling in and inviting them to consider a move to Memphis themselves!

It will break my heart today to drive away.

The hugs goodbye, the tears that will follow and the frantic waves that continue far past when my family is out of sight. Crossing the border out of Oregon will make it real, and the three cities we stop to rest will be reminders of how really real it is.

I'm sure you'll be able to catch us on Instagram!

God bless and see y'all soon!