Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Start...

Thankfully, things feel like they're looking up.

Today, I happily had my last day of training and I'm thrilled to say that I am now gainfully employed in downtown Nashville at Pucketts. It's a great restaurant that I've actually enjoyed going to on two of my trips. My friend Lauren and I both commented in August how it'd be such a cool place to work. Live music and good food. The place always seems to be busy. I'm excited to get some socialization that doesn't include talking to my pups and the people who work there are mostly fellow musicians in one aspect or another.

After a few weeks of feeling so overwhelmed with anxiety because I didn't have a job yet, I think it's crazy that I find myself wanting to be home because of the guilt I feel leaving my pups alone all day. To me, they'll never just be dogs, they're my kids.  Geeze, I'm such a homebody. I miss home. One of my bests would love to know that as I drive home at the end of my shift, I think to myself, there's no place like home... I miss my home in New York and I miss my home in Tennessee where my babies are waiting for me. There's no feeling like the sheer love you get from pups (or cats) that just love you because you love them. They want nothing from you, but they give so much.

I'm not going to lie, I'm beyond exhausted everyday because of this job. I know I just need to get into a new routine, but man mornings are incredibly hard to adjust to when you're use to going to sleep at 3 a.m.— Five thirty wake ups are insane to me. Even the pups know that there is nothing right with waking up that early. People say your body adjusts. I hope they're right because I feel like the walking dead every morning. I don't think a coffee IV would even help.

Another bright note is that my window is fixed. Finally, it's fixed. I can open my blinds and let some sunshine in now. It's kinda nice. Even though I have the security system and I'm sure a piece of plywood helps more than glass against thrown rocks, there's something about having that window fixed. I think it's brought me back to what I hope will be a new normal here. I feel safer with it fixed. Even though a few hours before it was fixed my neighbor knocked on my door to let me know to stay inside because there were four cop cars at the end of my road, a helicopter flying overhead, and a canine unit in our backyard because another house was broken into. This makes four houses in my facility since mine was broken into. The crazy thing is, it's a really safe area. I think people are getting desperate. Luckily, this time the culprits were seen so apparently there's a description out there. I feel safe though. Is that strange? All the crap going on, and I feel safe. Is it the alarm system? I don't know. Is it my gun? I don't know. I just know that I'm not scared like I was on that night when the hubby and I first walked in to the ransacked place. I think it's because I'm not letting them win. Fuck them. I won't let them scare me or violate my new home. Punks.









Friday, January 31, 2014

Agonizing…

Do people choose to be unemployed? 

I know that there are those who lose jobs or are just down on their luck, but I really believe that some people really enjoy being unemployed. I, my friends, am not one of those people. Some people like to work the system. Some people enjoy a lifestyle that allows them to not work. I can't say that even if I had the funds, that I would choose not to work. I hate not working. It's really my only social interaction. I hear of women who just want to have an adult conversation when their only interaction is with their children; my only interaction right now is with my pups. I'm going kind of crazy.

My sanity right now lies solely at the YMCA right now. Is that cheesy? Does it make you feel like singing the song? Yea, me either. But I figured I'd give it a go. 

I'm really having a hard time getting motivated. I literally have no money to go out and socialize. I feel like I'm 19 again and living in Manhattan, broke as a joke. My one big splurge was on signing up for the Y. I had to. It's on my credit card and I really don't regret the purchase because it gives me a place to feel free. I love swimming. I haven't been swimming in so long and I've forgotten how much I truly love it. Feeling every part of your body working and moving towards a goal. I see the end of the pool coming, I do my turn, I hit the wall, I push off, and I swim back to just do it again and again. It's so freeing. It's so empowering. When I'm swimming I forget for that little bit of time that I don't have a job, or that my brand new dishwasher doesn't work. 

It's the worst feeling as a woman to know that you can't fix something. I can't make the water drain from my dishwasher, or make the detergent release, but I can pick up a phone and call the repair guy. Thankfully, hopefully, whatever the problem is, it's under warrantee. I hate always feeling like I need a handyman around. Eventually, I want to replace the contractor's ugly lights, eventually I want to paint, but I can't reach to the top of the walls… it all takes money. It all takes a man. It sucks.

I am proud of myself for hanging pictures on my own. I needed to. I can't get to the walls yet because I don't have a ladder tall enough to reach the top, and let's face it, the thought of being up on a ladder that high terrifies me, so I had to get some artwork on the walls. I had to make this place feel somewhat homey. Especially after the break-in. I needed this place to feel like home. I wanted it girly. I wanted it to remind me of my youth, who I am today, and who I want to be. I think I accomplished what I was setting out to do.



I've got nothing to do right now but put in resumes and finish unpacking. I want this place to have some sense of normal. But it's becoming really hard. They say day by day it will get easier. I'm just wondering when Tennessee will start feeling like home. Is it possible that I actually miss my hometown? Who would have thought it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Rocky Road...

I've been avoiding this post.

I've been dreading telling any story that doesn't include rainbows and butterflies. Don't we all just love a story with rainbows and butterflies? We all love the good stuff. The happy ending. The perfect start. Yet, my journey to Nashville has definitely not had the best of times.

I had a great send off from my friends and my family back home. I was humbled and felt so incredibly blessed at everyone's generosity. I truly feel like there was no other way to leave my home town. From my friends who surprised me with house-warming gifts to my coworkers who surprised me with a going away cake and cards; it all was just overwhelming. A night that lasted until 4:30 a.m. and I wouldn't have changed a second of it. I was exhausted and so filled with emotion. I fought it for so long, but I am so loved, and I love my life at home. Right now, I miss it. I will toughen up. I will gain my footings here in Nashville, but right now, I just feel, overwhelmed. And not in a good way.

After a fourteen hour car ride from New York, which included several bathroom stops for the puppies and me, we arrived. We got into town and bought the essentials from Publix (man, I miss Shop Rite) and then headed to our townhouse. I was so excited because before Amy and I left in November, I unpacked everything and had it all ready for my arrival come January. When we walked in the door, something didn't feel right. The light in the entry was the only one on, but I could tell that things looked a little off. At least from what I thought I remembered from November. I said to my husband, "someone's been in here, I know that I left things perfect when I left." He thought that maybe the builders came in again. I still knew something wasn't right. Why would the builders open all my stuff?

He told me to take the pups out and get them familiar with the area and that we'd call in the morning. He headed upstairs, I headed outside. The next door neighbor asked me if this was my place. When I answered yes, she preceded to tell me that my place was broken into three weeks earlier. I immediately shut down. I didn't cry. I didn't do anything as she proceeded to tell me that the cops were there and that my HOA had been notified, but no one notified me. I thanked her. I walked inside. I started to tell my husband and then just lost it.

He was upstairs while I was outside and realized that I was right. My bedroom was ransacked too. My hope chest was broken into. I started to be beyond hysterical. I was mad at myself for locking the hope chest. I was mad at myself for moving my stuff in early. I felt like Rose from The Golden Girls during season one; "The Break In" was one of those episodes that I could never relate to. Until now. I get it. I get how you can feel so incredibly violated. I was so exhausted when we first got to the house and all I wanted to do was take a shower and fall asleep. Not a chance now. Between my outbursts of tears, waiting for the cops to come and dust for prints, and waiting for someone to come and put a piece of plywood over my broken window, I just couldn't think about sleeping. All I could think of was, what a welcome. Is this how my life in Nashville is going to start? It was heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking. I had to wash my sheets again. I just felt like my place was so incredibly dirty. It felt so sad. The house just still doesn't feel like a home. They stole my Grama's coins, but that was really it. Honestly, they weren't very smart burglars because I had stuff that was worth money that they didn't look twice at. I'm very thankful for that. I'm thankful for stupid, uneducated burglars. It made me smile when they searched through my boxes which held my wedding bands. I saved the boxes for sentimental reasons. I bet they thought they hit the jackpot. Jackasses.

If it wasn't for my husband being by my side, I would have left. I would have stayed in a hotel for the night and then drove back to New York the next day. I'm so thankful for him. He kept me sane. He cried with me. He cried for me. He kept me from hyperventilating.

I guess this was the push I needed to get a security system put in as soon as possible. I couldn't afford it. But the gun by my pillow just isn't enough. I'm still waiting on my new window to be put in. The builders wanted to charge me over a thousand dollars: "Well, we have to take the siding off and then replace the whole unit." I told them that I'd look around (my home owner's insurance deductible is a thousand dollars). I was told the glass itself couldn't be replaced. I couldn't believe that. So I searched. I googled. I found. Someone came out and it's going to cost me $360. I don't have the money. I don't have a job yet, but at this point, although I hate it, credit cards might just save my sanity.

It's been a rough first week here. My husband left on Thursday and I have to say it was the hardest day I think I've ever experienced. I've never felt so alone. This doesn't feel like a vacation anymore. It's feeling so real. This decision is becoming very real. And very hard.

I'm hoping this will get easier. I know it has to. It's just such an uncomfortable feeling to not have a job. I miss working. I can't believe I just said that. I miss my job. I miss my friends. I miss my coworkers. I miss the bullshit. Sigh. This will get better. Today was probably one of the best days that I've had so far, besides the day out I had with David Nail Girl . I'm signed up for the YMCA and I swam today for a half hour. It felt amazing. It also reminded me on how out of shape I am. It's official. I need to get my shit together. Every inch of me hurts. I love it. I'm looking forward to going to sleep and waking up to swim and job search. It's a new day soon. I'm thankful that I'll be able to greet it.

Please continue your prayers. I know that they are there. I feel the love. I feel incredibly blessed still. I just need God to stop trying to test me. But as someone told me, God wants to see how bad I want it, that's why he's trying me. I'm up for the challenge. I've got faith.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Already Feeling It...

I'm a ball of emotions.

I think everyone that knows me well, knows that i'm a very emotional person; I wear them on my sleeve. That's a given. I cry during a good commercial. I cry at an old picture. I cry at a song. A lot of songs. I cry at good times. I cry at sad times. I cry when I'm angry. Point is, I'm a cryer.

I'm already feeling a lot of love from the people that I love. One problem with crying is that I know it's in my genes, so it's not going to get easier. Not a doubt in my mind. My mom… bigger cryer. Well, maybe not, but definitely a bigger sneezer. She's not really hiding her emotions right now either. This is going to be hard. I cry.

Last night I felt the need to go to sleep early. My body needed it. I wanted to lay in bed with my husband for an entire night. There aren't a lot of days left to do that. I'm incredibly sad. It felt great just to fall asleep next to him and listen to him sleep. Problem with going to bed at the same time as him is that I also end up waking up around the same time he does. Four in the morning is not really a perfect start to my day, but I wanted to be up. I listened to him shave. I listened to him shower. I listened to every step of his morning routine and at one point I even thought about recording it with my phone for those times when I get sad. It's amazing to me that I'm going to miss his morning routine that I started to hate the second he took first shift at work. Now, I feel sad that I won't be in my house in New York to be woken up by him. To get angry because I'm awake at 4 a.m. because of his stupid work schedule. I cry.

You don't know what you've got til it's gone. I cry.

I feel bad for the dogs. They have a routine. Stella wakes me up in the morning to take her out. Luna won't get out of bed until she gets a belly rub. They go out. They poop. They pee. They run to the kitchen table to get their treat. They drink some water. They run to the living room rug to wrestle. Luna begs Stella to play more instead of chewing on her stick. I'm scared i'm going to ruin them. They're such good girls. They love their daddy so much. Now, because of my selfish dream, they're going to lose their full-time play partner. I feel so guilty. I cry.

I'm going to miss the people I work with. My girls. My kids. My customers. My friends. I cry.

I know from experience that even though I've worked with these people and that we have shared our lives together for the past eight and a half years, that the likelihood for us to continue being close, is pretty slim. It's sad, but true. We share our daily routines together. By doing so we bond. But once that routine is finished, it's hard to still stay close. I'll be replaced. Another coworker will become the person that they come to vent to. Another person will serve their drinks. Another person will make wise ass comments. I'll be a memory. I'll be apart of the conversation that starts, "Remember Dana…" Hopefully the conversation doesn't start, "Remember the bartender… what's her name… the one that wanted to sing…" I cry.

My life in my hometown has not been perfect. There have been points where I've hated it. Where I've thought to myself and then said out loud, "get me out of here before I lose my mind!" But I did lose my mind. I was always the one who was suppose to go. I always said to my mom that I couldn't wait to get out of here. That I had big dreams. That nothing would ever be worth staying. I found the one thing that was worth staying for. Unfortunately, he still couldn't keep me from wanting to live this dream. I wish I could have stopped wanting more than this town. He's helped me every step of the way. He's my biggest supporter. He's my biggest fan. He's my truest believer. He's not perfect, I'm not perfect, but I know he's more than I deserve. I cry.

Tonight I'm suppose to meet up with some work friends for a goodbye dinner. Before that, one of my best friends and I are going to meet. I'm really bad at goodbyes. A good friend wanted to buy me silverware for the new place, but because she's not feeling well, she handed me a check instead. I had to keep tears from welling up in my eyes, as I watched them well up in hers. It was far too generous. I got to my car. Hugged my dogs. I cry.

I've got four days of work left. The countdown is official. It's almost over. Never did I think that I'd actually be doing this. I've dreamed of it. But not like this. Definitely not like this. I have to have this split life. I have to have a huge missing piece in order for me to really pursue this dream. Ah, a dream. A dream that I've wanted since I first wrote down a poem about a boy I liked from church. And a boy I liked from school. Ever since my Grama told me to sing louder because if I didn't, no one would hear me. Ever since I'd stare at Grama sing in church. I knew I wanted this. I've just always been too scared to ever give it a shot. To disappoint myself. To disappoint others. I cry.

So, my eyes will be swollen for the next week or two. My last day at my job is Saturday. I'm terrified. Waterproof mascara is a must for the next week. I'm so sad. I'm so anxious. I'm so scared. I'm so excited. I'm so sad. I cry.

I haven't stopped crying yet. Please give me the strength to get through this and keep my promises. If I'm going to fall flat on my face, I'm going to do it in style and stay true to my word. I need to know that the heartache is worth it. As much as I started to hate this town, it's still nice to know that you can always come home. I cry.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Planning...

Trying to be organized is a really hard thing for a procrastinator like myself.

It's overwhelming.

Trying to plan is just too much to handle.

I'm hoping that I can start this new year off right by using my little envelope system. It's not much, but it helps out towards the end of the year when I really need to find some extra cash. Around the beginning of the Christmas season the restaurant business is just not booming like one would think. People start cutting back on dining out because they're buying things for the ones they love instead. So when i'm out buying presents, i'm usually strapped for cash. It sucks. I want to be giving, but because i'm such a poor planner, I usually end up putting things off until I actually have the cash or I'll put it on my credit card (fully knowing that I'll be able to pay it off when the restaurant picks up again). I never put anything on my credit card that I can't pay off when the bill comes. That's one of my quirks. I'm terrified of credit cards. I hate them. They're a necessary evil for emergencies, but I only have one. Thankfully I have perfect credit because of my little quirks, so I have a great rate. At the age of 25 I had a 725 credit score; now my score is 800. Not too shabby if I must say so.



This is my little system that i'm enacting again. I got away from it for awhile because alas, i'm a poor planner and I like nice things and instant gratification. But my idea is that each week I put $10 away in each envelope. So thirty dollars a week goes into some sort of savings for myself. There's no point for me to put any of this money into a savings account because let's face it, the one cent of interest I'd make is really kind of pointless, I'd just be taking the money out by the end of the year anyway. 

I like the idea. On the back of each envelope I put the date so it'll keep me honest. I'm really hoping I can stick with it this year. I'm hoping that I can have a little extra at the end of the year. My plan is that anything that's left over I'll put towards my IRA contribution for the year. 

So here's to starting the year off right and having no debt to my name. It is a great feeling!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Having a Few "Ah Ha" Moments...

I've been very reflective over the past few months.

Reflective on who I've become as a person; who I let myself become. To be honest, I was at a point where I truly hated myself. I stopped working out, I stopped eating right, and I stopped caring about anyone in my life, including myself. Nothing mattered.

Last year was really a bad year for me as a person. As a human being occupying space, I just didn't feel like I was adding anything good to the world. I just felt so much negativity around me. So many ghosts of the decisions I've made over the years. So many what ifs floating around and haunting my head. It's a scary thing when you decide to try to live a dream that seems like a huge stretch, a huge risk, a huge, "you're going to try to do whatttt?" from everyone in your life. You start to second guess yourself. You start to question your sanity. You start to say, I'm not good enough. Why am I going to risk everything for a dream? Why am I risking falling flat on my face and crawling back to my home town?

In my reflection I've realized it's worth it. Not worth the shit that got me to this decision, but this is what I have to do. I've had many late night conversations with my best friend. I've had many early morning conversations with my best friend. I've made decisions that will affect his life in a huge way. I feel so bad that I can't shake this feeling that music is what I have to do. That I'm not meant to be in this town still bar tending and watching my youth fade. He's so supportive in ways that one just wouldn't expect. He's the most encouraging person in the world. When I met him I had this dream of moving to Nashville, but I never went. Years later that dream is still haunting me and I started to resent the good life I have here. It's a hard pill to swallow when you know you have a pretty good life, but your dreams keep telling you to go for it, go for it, go for it… there's more, there's that place where you always dreamt of being.

I've been crying lately. Well, sobbing is more like it. I've been second guessing everything. All the wheels are in motion, and my countdown is on, but I'm terrified.

Is it bad that I want it all? I want a perfect life. I want to be happy at home AND happy with my job. Is it really too much to ask?

I'm feeling motivated. I'm feeling determined. But I'm still beyond sad. In order to try for a dream, I have to leave another one. It's beyond heart wrecking.

My life has been pretty freaking fabulous. I've been beyond blessed. It's taken me having to reflect on this life to realize it. I'm scared of this new adventure. I'm terrified. I'm excited. I'm hopeful that I can have it all.


Monday, January 6, 2014

The Path Not Taken...

I'm feeling kinda crazy.

I'm going to take on this crazy, new adventure and I can't believe what I'm about to do.

Two weeks.

Holy shit.

I've been at my current job for over 8 years. A college graduate, magna cum laude, and I'm still bar-tending. Those people who say that money isn't everything, you really need to rethink that. Money makes the world go round is definitely a better saying.

I'm so anxious right now. For the first time in years, I won't have a job. To say the least, I'm terrified. I can't wait to get settled in and go job hunting. But to say I'm anything but terrified would be a lie. I know that I need to do this. I need to follow my dream. I have such an amazing support system. But that doesn't change the fact that for at least a few months I'll be in Nashville on my own.

I'm going to miss my husband. He's truly my best friend. I'm scared. I'm terrified to be without him. I know I have to do this. I know I have to try my hand at this.

There are too many musicians that I know who say that their biggest regret is that they never tried. I don't want to be saying that. Time is not on my side. But i'm still scared. This is a long shot. I'm taking a huge risk. I'm risking everything in my life that is good for a dream I've had for my entire life. Ever since I saw LeAnn Rimes perform when I was like ten or eleven. Damn her.

It was always a dream. Nothing more. I never thought i'd ever be crazy enough to try for it. I don't want to resent my life. It's a good life. But it's felt like something is missing. It's been missing music. My music. Our music.

Two weeks from today we'll be on the road to our Nashville town home. I'm freaking out. Not from excitement, but from sheer fear of the unknown. God please treat me well. I don't deserve your prayers for something so trivial, but please help me on this new path; I know I'll need some sanity in the next few months.

They say dream big. I'm following a dream that is bigger than anything I ever thought possible. Wish Amy and I luck, she'll be following suit in June. Say prayers. Help me realize this path that I never thought was possible.

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