Well, it’s official. I did it. I’m in Nashville. Yep! I loaded up the truck and hit the road around 9ish Friday morning. I drove straight through to the hotel I booked in Louisville, Kentucky for Friday night, making that leg in roughly about 14 hours or so. Would’ve made better time had the Thruway exits in NY towards Buffalo hadn’t been closed due to weather. I had no other choice but to go an alternate route…which I didn’t have the faintest idea of how to even figure out, given that I’m horrible with on-the-spot map planning/reading. Call me techie, but I’d much rather prefer to rely on the GPS system in the car to get me from point A to point B, than my paper map navigational skills…which suck, big time. So anyways, yeah. I ended up calling my brother-in-law, Justin, at work and asking him for directions, as he’s done the drive himself before. He told me two different highways to look for that would, at least, get me to Pennsylvania. Which it would have had I not been stupid and taken a much earlier exit than I was supposed to. It was an honest mistake. I saw the sign for one of the highway numbers Justin had told me to look for and so I thought it was the highway I needed to take…yeah, no. It was no highway, just back roads and towns that eventually brought me right in a circle. So basically, I drove around in circles for a good hour and a half. Seriously…only I could get myself lost in my own home state. It’s crazy. So that put me back a ways. Then when I finally hit Ohio and the Cleveland area, it was rush hour so the interstate was at a stand-still and backed up for dozens of miles. That drive though—I don’t think I’ll be visiting New York by car any time soon, that’s for sure. I should have just stopped over for the night in Ohio like Justin suggested I should, but again, I was stupid and went ahead Thursday night and booked a hotel for Louisville, KY instead, thinking it’d be easier just to continue the last couple-hour final leg to Nashville in the morning.
By the time I got to my room though, I was exhausted. Literally, falling-over exhausted. So I figured I’d take a shower and wash my hair. Well, while I was rinsing the shampoo, I closed my eyes. When I did that, I couldn’t get the picture of the road ahead out of my mind. No joke. I could even feel the vibrations from driving in the truck and the road images when I was sitting down on the bed. My head hurt, everything was spinning…I ended up throwing up for 2 hours because of it. Both my father and my friend Ryan (both of which have made the trip or ones like it before) said that it’s completely normal…that what that means is that I should have pulled over and taken a break long before I even got to Kentucky, rather than doing the entire drive straight through. But I guess that’ll teach me. Never again. When I go back to visit NY, I’m flying. That’s for damn sure! J
I’m not gonna lie…leaving was hard. I actually ended up fixing my family chicken riggies for dinner one last time on Thursday and to tell them [save for my sister and the twins] my goodbyes then, so I wouldn’t have such a hard time driving the next morning. It wasn’t pretty. I started tearing up in the attic just when I went up to grab some of my things I’d stored there. Then it was time to go and I had to say goodbye to the kids. Angelina isn’t taking all of this too well. We were both sobbing on the porch when we said our goodbyes. She begged me again to stay, telling me she didn’t want to go. It just made it harder. Then I had to say goodbye to Emma and Ava—who didn’t really get it—and then to my grams, mother, and aunt. I still drove away crying though; despite how prepared I thought I’d been for it. Friday wasn’t too hard. I did cry when I got the twinnies ready Friday morning and had to say goodbye to them and my sister one last time. Luckily, I expected that. I mean, hell, I’ve practically raised those boys this past year so naturally, it was tough.
But I’m here. I made it to Nashville and the school yesterday morning. I moved in all my stuff and met my roommates, two girls from the area who are both Graphic Design majors. They seem nice, but it’s pretty obvious that they’ve been friends for a while and I’m kind of the odd one out. One of my big worries about living on campus would be that I’d get stuck rooming with a bunch of 18-year-olds wanting me to buy them beer all the time. I don’t think it’ll be a problem, though. We kind of already laid the ground rules—any alcohol I buy (which chances are, won’t be an issue because I don’t really drink anyhow) will just be kept in my room. It’s not a dry campus, so alcohol is allowed…just as long as it’s being bought for or consumed by anyone underage. I’m quite aware of the repercussions of breaking that law, so again, I don’t think that’ll be a problem for me. More than likely, if I do choose to drink, it’ll be while I’m out at a bar or venue downtown somewhere…not in my apartment on campus with my 19-year-old roommates. As for how it’s going with them…well, it’s not really going…anything, really. I’ve pretty much kept to myself since I got here. They’ve clearly got their own thing going on, and I have a feeling our interests don’t exactly coincide. For starters, they’re both lesbians…and I’m straight. They flat out asked me while I was unpacking how I felt about lesbians yesterday…in fact, it was one of the first things they asked me. Honestly, I don’t care whether they’re straight or not. It’s not my place—or anyone else’s, for that matter—to judge someone else’s sexuality. As far as I’m concerned, people are free to love whomever they choose. Far be it from me to say different. Which is what I told them, essentially. It’s like religion for me…I don’t care as long as people don’t try to push it on me. The same goes for sexual orientation. They can do their thing, and I’ll do mine. I was proactive and asked if they had an issue with me having a male “friend” over…and they said they didn’t…so it’s all good on that front.
Another question they had for me was how I felt about drug use. Again, like alcohol, I don’t do drugs, so that’s not really an issue. I could honestly care less if they choose to do so. I think they were trying to be nice and include me because one of them came to my door and asked if I wanted to join them to smoke last night. I politely declined, of course, and they proceeded to smoke in one of the other bedrooms. Whereas I decided to get out of the apartment and away from the smell—have I mentioned that I really detest the smell of weed smoking, because I do—and went to the store to pick up some things for my room and personal bathroom (it’s a 4-person apartment, but it’s only the three of us, so I lucked out and have a bathroom of my own…which is awesome!!). While it was nice of them to ask me first, I have to admit, I was a little annoyed by the act. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against people smoking weed. People can do whatever they want. In fact, I know plenty of people that do…some are even really close friends of mine. And as I’ve probably mentioned in a past post, I’ve experimented with it as well on several occasions in the past. While other people may enjoy the experience, I don’t. I don’t like the effect weed has on me. Other people can function normally on the stuff or they just mellow out…but I get weird. I mean, I’ll literally get high and I’ll be in my own little world for the next couple of hours. I can’t have a normal conversation when I’m high. At all. Someone can be sitting there talking to me…and I’ll answer a question an hour after they asked me it, once the subject has long since changed to something else. It’s not fun. So…I don’t smoke. It’s a personal preference, but others can do as they see fit. The thing that irked me a little about my roommates lighting up, however, is that this is a zero-tolerance campus. No drugs allowed. They even covered the subject in the little meet-and-greet I had to do with the Student Life department yesterday afternoon after I settled in with the other new residents, along with the warning of no open flames in the apartment (i.e. candles, burning incense, etc.). Wouldn’t you know, when I got back to the apartment after that little meet-and-greet session, the roommates were right there burning incense in the common area/living room while watching something on a laptop. And it wasn’t even the good smelling incense. It smelled bad and gave me such a headache that I had to open a window, despite the unusually lower-than-normal winter temp outside. But incense is one thing. Pot, on the other hand, is something else entirely. I mean, hello—it’s against the law. You can get arrested if you’re caught with it. Not that I’m necessarily concerned with the police authorities per se, but I am a little concerned with the school authorities. Zero-tolerance means that if you get caught with the stuff—or drugs of any kind—then chances are, you’re looking at expulsion from not only the residence halls, but from the school itself. And as they also told us in yesterday’s meeting, the RA’s do weekly random room searches. That begs the question of what’s going to happen if ours is one of the apartments that gets selected for a search. I mean, how does that work? If they were to find their weed stash somewhere in the apartment, are there then any disciplinary ramifications that I, too, would face, seeing that while it’s not mine, it’s still in my apartment? That doesn’t seem fair obviously, but you know what they say about being guilty from association. They may not seem too concerned about the risk they’re taking here, but I do. And maybe it’s just me, but I would have thought that after I told them I didn’t like smoking weed, that they’d at least have the decency to refrain from doing it in the apartment. That’s just simple manners…that is, one would think. Even if they have the courtesy of smoking in their bedrooms, the smell is still going to seep through the rest of the apartment. And some people—like me—don’t want to and don’t appreciate the smell getting into our—mine—clothing and personal belongings. I don’t like it, but there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. I mean, I’m already moved in. I don’t want to report them for the pot and run the risk of having (if the school does nothing) to continue living with them for the next 5 months. The tension and drama would be insurmountable. I’d like to avoid that if that’s possible. So basically, I have very few options here. I’m just going to have to get used to living with it, I guess. I don’t really have a choice.
I’m not going to lie, this whole roommate thing is taking away from the excitement I was having with this whole move…it really has. This sucks because I was so happy about this and now I’m starting to doubt whether this whole thing was even a good idea to begin with. Which I resent a lot because of all that I have invested in this move. I want things to work out down here, but the things I mentioned aren’t helping matters any.
But yeah, I did it. I made the jump. I’m living in Nashville, just like I wanted. I can finally have the do-over I’ve been waiting so long for. I hope.