Sunday, March 20, 2016

Same, but different

The new adventure is underway! After 12 hours in the car with an entire wardrobe and a freaked out cat in tow, I pulled into Memphis to begin the next chapter of my life.

What I learned along the way: 

Lesson 1: Always double check the pet friendliness of your hotel

I booked a hotel room at the Microtel Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, the halfway point on my trip from Cleveland to Memphis. Turns out, this particular hotel was dog-friendly only, which is information that the receptionist believed was "posted everywhere." I have yet to find it. A quick scramble and it was off to the Red Roof Inn, a chain that loves all animals!

Lesson 2: Check your air mattress for leaks

It took what felt like forever to pack up everything I own. I haven't actually seen any of my belongings since March 7th. But I was prepared for a long wait for my furniture. Sadly, my trusty air mattress was not in it for the long haul. I woke up every two hours my first night practically on the floor, and had to refill the mattress. Two nights of this led me to the nearest Target for a replacement.

Lesson 3: Microwaves are not always a given.

I don't think I've owned my own microwave in years. There's just always been one in every apartment and house I've lived in. Until now. I didn't even realize one was missing until I tried to reheat leftover take-out. I felt a little stupid standing in the middle of my kitchen with a confused look on my face.

Same, but different

It's been a strange couple of weeks here in the place I once called my second home, and not because I don't actually have a place to sit other than the floor. Memphis still feels like home, but so much has changed since I left in 2007. Areas that were once ghost towns after sundown are now vibrant communities with restaurants, bars, shopping and more. Schnucks is gone. The Pyramid has gone pro. Bass Pro, that is. and the Greenline is pretty impressive, winding from the suburbs deep into the city. I can see it from my balcony and I can't wait to hit the pavement.

While I love to see all of the differences, some things remain the same. The Grizzlies are still all heart, MPC is still serving up some of the best slices, allergies are still a pain, and Midtown is still Memphis.

Before I left Cleveland, I told a friend that I was scared because even though I was embarking on the homecoming I dreamed of for years, I'm not the same person I was when I left. I told her through tears that I didn't know where the quiet places were, and if I could recreate the life I loved in Cleveland in the south. My friend encouraged me to focus on the positive and all the answers would come in time.

Some have already revealed themselves, putting me on the right path to build my new life.

My number one goal after losing my job in January was to make whatever came next something I could be proud of.

I'm proud to be a Memphian, and instead of thinking about the city the way it used to be, the way I remember it from so long ago, I am excited to rediscover Memphis through new eyes.

And in case you're wondering, my furniture arrives on Monday.

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