Friday, April 22, 2016

Southern Yankee

I saw a funny newspaper article titled "Southern Yankee" yesterday while walking downtown Memphis. It has been somewhat of a culture shock from time to time living down here, but it's why I took the opportunity.

You get so stuck in your bubble that anything unfamiliar seems like a death trap, or at least oddly bewildering or unacceptable. It is weird being on the other side of the fence. For example, I had quite a few laughs when living in Wisconsin and explaining the "norms" to a friend who moved there from North Carolina. Obviously, it was easy to say he was the "weird" one, but that has quickly become me in my new home.

I mean none of this in a bad way, actually the opposite, but I am trying to enlighten you.

So let me tell you some things I have found interesting in my first 2 months living in Tennessee. The state roadkill is the armadillo. I am totally making that up, but I forgot that I haven't seen an armadillo in probably 10 years. Fire ants are a real thing here as are bees the size of a quarter. I forget that I have a different accent than everyone down here, so when I say things, I am often asked to repeat it a few times and visa versa. Not to mention I can literally feel the southern accent pulling on mine. I will say a word and almost not be able to pronounce it because I am using half my northern accent and half southern. I also get stared at when I talk in public because people know I am not from around here. I got passed by a Sheriff going over 90mph on the highway. Confederate grave yards are a real thing as well as Confederate pride. The Memphis Grizzlies are by far the biggest point of pride for everyone in the surrounding area. College sports and Greek life are HUGE. So, I am now a Grizzlies fan, Ole Miss fan, and Redbirds fan. Along with Packers fan, Badger fan, Brewers fan, and Kansas State fan. In other words, my team never loses. I am a "ma'am" or "miss" or "darling" and don't say please and thank you enough. I have not made the switch from "you guys" to "y'all" but I am sure it is in my near future. Recycling has not yet become a thing here. Oh and smoking in restaurants and bars is still a thing. Being part of or knowing someone on a BBQ cooking team is a must. And yes, I already took off the Friday after opening night to the national BBQ cook-off in Memphis because that is also apparently a must. Many gas pumps are missing the part that you can latch the gas nozzle causing you to HAVE to hold the pump handle the entire time you fill, which I haven't quite figured out yet, but I have some theories. I have been told everyone vacations here during the summer because it gets so unbearably hot. All of the fun activities happen late April through early June because the weather is perfect. Liquor is not sold in grocery stores like it is in Wisconsin. You have to go to a liquor store, which is inconvenient probably for the better. "Sin" tax is no joke as a 12 pack of blue moon around here sells for ~$18 (unlike WI ~$13). There are no [strict] laws on window tinting because of the deathly heat. I think that's a good start.

It has been incredibly fun and at times interesting learning these cultural norms. Thankfully it takes about 2 sentences out of my mouth for people to get the fact I'm not from around here. :-p

It continues to be a fun journey and I'm so glad I made the decision to move!! I still look forward to visitors!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MEMPHIBIAN! WEEK 3

I am just kidding, the correct title is: Memphian.

Here we are!! I have officially been living in Memphis almost 3 weeks! I feel like I should copy my brother; "I Live In [Memphis]: Week 3", but, I don't want to put a date on it.

WOW! Everyone has been asking me; "So, what's new?", "How is Memphis?", "How are you doing?", "How do you like it?". 

You guys......I am so delighted to tell you, I love it! My first week here, I had 6 visitors mosey through my abode. SIX people in the first 8 days of moving to Memphis! Needless to say; I was a little overwhelmed!! Moving to a new city, hostessing, planning a move, dealing with no furniture, not knowing the city...but I have the most awesome support system, it all worked out. As overwhelming as it was, every moment was so enjoyable, I would not have wished for it any other way.

My mother helped me move, and boy did she help! My mom is SO CARING, it is insane to me at times (in a good way). It was so re-assuring to know that she was here to help with anything...literally, anything. My mom raised me to be independent, so I felt less-obligated to entertain her and did not stress as much leaving her home alone during the first week. Thank you, mom! Since I arrived on the weekend, it was so helpful having her here merely to keep my thoughts straight, accompany me on store trips, explore the city, etc. I know I can have quite the 'princess complex' attitude at times, but she can deal with it better than anyone I know. Mom, you are the best. I'm sorry for treating you way less than you deserve. 

While she was here, 2 other friends stopped by. I am so glad they did. They are the type of people to say; "hey, we are leaving Milwaukee now, see you in 10 hours", and actually show up the next day. I LOVE IT! Thank you B & S for coming!!! I can't wait for you to visit again, because I will actually be settled and able to take you around, however you are the best people to hang out with during the awkward; 'what do I do in a new town', phase. THANK YOU!

While my mom was sleeping on her last night, I had 3 more girl friends come into town. My mom left and my girl friends were right here to fill the void. We had the best weekend. I got to go to Graceland, experience Beale Street, Rendezvous, and I got to find out my boyfriend had different plans than expected for our relationship. Three years, down the drain. That's where I'm at. 

I am in a seemingly great place given the circumstances. I never dish this kind of stuff, but at this point, I have nothing to lose. Our relationship hadn't been in a good place for a while and I can't explain it, but we weren't 'meant to be'. I am just glad we came to those terms now, rather than months into a marriage. It is very hard losing a close friend regardless. In the big scheme, I just lost all my friends moving across the country, it is just crappy circumstances to cut every cord. I am making it sound more depressing than it really is. I have been so busy at work (which I don't mind at this point) and busy decorating my house that I haven't hit the "oh my gosh, I don't have any friends" phase.

Everyone here is so nice! I walked into the grocery store today and had a group of girls compliment my sweater. Then, the guy at Starbucks couldn't even take my order because he was land-locked with my hair. <3 I love the attention, but I feel like the meanest person around here, not saying "ma'am" and "y'all".  I love it. Southern hospitality is no joke and it's contagious.

I feel obligated to talk about the weather. IT'S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Snow and cold is a thing of the past and summer hoodies now become my winter coat. I am so overjoyed, I can't even explain. I am happy here, there's not much more to say. 

Thank you everyone for your prayers, I am having a great transition. I look forward to hosting you all as I slowly build my fortress in the south.

Take care Y'ALL! ;)

Friday, March 4, 2016

If I Won the Lottery...

Which won't happen because I don't gamble, but IF I came across a large sum of money, this is what I would do.

  • NOT quit my job. I love my job enough to do it because I don't have to. 
  • Donate 15% to God
  • Pay off my student loans
  • Pay off my best friend, J.D.'s student loans
  • Pay off my brothers student loans and Mt. Everest debt (as well as his next Everest trip)
  • Buy my parents a new car, that they never would
  • Buy my parents a vacation, that they never would
  • Give my parents a lump sum of money in payment for all they have given me
  • Take my best friend, A.H., on a 1 month, all-paid vaca to Europe including lost wages for pulling her away from her job for that long
  • Go back to Vegas with my "Vegas girls" for an all-paid trip
  • Buy my boyfriend a jet 
  • Buy my brother a Tesla
  • Get my parents anything else they want
  • Take a month to knock out some items on my bucket list
  • Buy myself a GT-R
  • Buy a vacation house somewhere
Doing the math, all of this would only cost under $6 million, including taxes and assuming I don't retire. So, who wants to fund me? :-D

Friday, February 19, 2016

Going Through Changes

Boy am I going through changes!!! Turning the pages and flying through the chapters...

First of all, I haven't blogged about this yet, but I'd like to take a moment in remembrance of my Uncle Dennis who past away last Thursday, February 11th, 2016. Obituary here. After months of suffering from Esophageal Cancer and complications, I am glad to know he is in a much better place, but that doesn't make it much easier to comprehend or accept.

The news came on my last day of a 10-day vacation in California. There is never a good time to lose a family member, but especially not in the situation I found myself. I am not talking about being on vacation, I am talking about having to leave less than 48hrs after getting back from vacation to start my first day of my new job in Memphis, TN. My first day of work happened to fall on the day of my Uncle's funeral. What to do? Before you judge me and call me cold, you can't possibly understand unless you were in my shoes. I told myself if this happened, I wouldn't miss it for the world, and I missed it. With all these moving pieces, I am living my life hour-by-hour.

So, I get home from my California vacation, begin to face reality, mourn my Uncle, pack for 10 days in Memphis, catch up on 10 days away from e-mails, run errands, and etc. I trudged through the daze and hopped on a plane Valentine's Day to begin my new job. Sitting on a plane that was de-icing, in 20 degree weather, for an hour, on Valentine's Day, knowing I wasn't going to be with my family for the funeral was heart-breaking. I can't count the number of times I choked down tears in the airport having every emotion in the Berea handbook.

Finally arriving at my hotel, sleep was the only thing I wanted. When I opened the door of my room, I was greeted by a bouquet of flowers and a love letter from my boyfriend. Needless to say, it meant A LOT.

Monday was rough; putting on a face for my first day at work while torn inside thinking of my family. I manage to get through everything, so that's what I did.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2