One Month And Counting.

So yesterday officially made it one month that I’ve been here in Nashville. It seems as though time has flown by…I mean, a whole month! Yikes. It’s a little unreal…and I mean that literally. In a way, I almost feel as though I’m in a dream of sorts. I half keep expecting to wake up and all of this to be gone…just another one of my overly vivid day dreams. To be completely honest, I’m still a bit surprised with myself…that I had the nerve to do it–to say I’m leaving and then actually leave. I didn’t think I would have had that kind of nerve. In the past, I definitely didn’t have it. In the past, I’d always have difficulty with the follow-through. I’d be too scared, too anxious, too…well, everything really. But this time I finally did it. I can’t even tell you how great that feels…it’s not quantifiable.

It’s been an incredible, chaotic whirlwind these past four weeks. I think I’m still trying to process it all. School’s been picking up, and so has the class work. That, combined with the fact that I’m practically working every waking moment that I’m not in class, has made for quite a stressful couple of weeks. I think I underestimated the amount of class work there was going to be when I went and applied for the job. I was distracted with the relief that I’d have something to fill all that free time I had back when classes first began. While I appreciate and I’m grateful for all the work hours I’m getting…I’m finding it difficult to find a balance between the school work and actual work. Especially the work for my Photography class. I mean, it’s a little hard to shoot and develop film when I’m not only pressed for time because of work, but also that by the time I do get out of work, it’s pretty much dark out already. Night shooting wouldn’t be a problem if we were using our DSLR’s (digital cameras), but we’re using 35 mm cameras right now. And for those of you that are familiar with 35 mm cameras, you know that night shooting is tricky as hell. You have to meter manually and adjust the apertures and shutter times yourself…which isn’t always easy. A lot of it is trail and error. There’s no LCD screen on the camera to preview the picture once it’s taken like there is on the digital camera. If the picture is crappy or the exposure is messed up, you won’t know until after you’ve already gone through the whole process of shooting the film, having it processed, and scanning the film…and then you’re screwed. Pretty much. Then there’s the matter of our Photo professor wanting us to shoot the film outside of Nashville. A Nashville native, she sees pictures of downtown and outlying Nashville as “cliche”. Her words, not mine. She’s got this thing against the TV show “Nashville”, in that it’s turned the city into some kind of tourist cliche. And don’t even think of photographing from Shelby Bridge…she is definitely not a fan of that bridge. She claims the show just “loovees” to shoot on Shelby Bridge…um, yeah. With all due respect, the woman clearly hasn’t actually watched the show. If she had, she’d know that that’s not true. I’ve watched the show from the beginning and as far as I can recollect, they’ve only shot on Shelby Bridge once…and that was in the Pilot episode…three years ago. I don’t know what she’s talking about. It’s a little irritating, I must admit, how she throws out that whole “cliche” paradigm. Being  from Nashville, I can understand how she might be a little disillusioned with the content and locations that are essentially Nashville-iconic, but that’s her. I, however, didn’t grow up here in Nashville, so all these mundane places she’s dissing–well, I’m seeing them for the first time, so it’s not a cliche. Not even close. So yeah…it’s a little hard to find the time to shoot “outside of Nashville” when you’re pretty much working until dark.

Add to that, I’ve been feeling a little…what’s the word for it…off, I guess you could say, the past week or so. I don’t know if I’m getting sick or if it’s just all the stress accumulating into something or what really, but I feel…well, off. The other day at work I had to run off into the bathroom to be sick…which was fun explaining to the girls I work with. I’m fairly certain they think I’m pregnant…me just getting sick out of the blue and running off like that, then going back to the desk as if nothing had happened…but I’m not. At least I don’t think I am…that is, I better NOT be. ‘Cause that would totally just SUCK with a capital S. I came to Nashville to make a fresh start…not get all caught up in the same drama that made me want to leave NY in the first place. So no, not pregnant. Not getting pregnant any time soon. There’ll be plenty of time for babies and starting families later, if and WHEN the time is right and it’s what I want. Right now is about having fun and being a little selfish. I’ve spent so long doing for others and worrying about everyone else’s happiness over my own…now it’s time to focus on and worry about me. This is ME time. Selfish or not, that’s how it is. And how it should be in some cases, I think.

I think I’ve settled in pretty well, for the most part. There hasn’t really been an adjustment period, so to speak. Which in and of itself is pretty damn strange, I’ll admit. I keep waiting for that feeling of nostalgia and bout of homesickness…but I have yet to feel either of those. I don’t miss New York, but I do miss my family. Like I said in an earlier post, I feel really disconnected from them. I can’t really explain it. It just feels so strange that they’re there and I’m here, building a life that doesn’t–at least not physically–involve them. What’s even more strange is how easily I’ve accepted that and am actually okay with it. I know it’s only been a month, but it feels as though so much has changed already. Them. Me. All of it. We’ve talked on the phone and Skyped a few times, but it’s not the same. Already, there’s things I’ve missed. The twinnies, for example. They’re both walking now and talking/babbling. My sister finally sent me some videos of them. I’m not going to lie–I totally cried while I watched them. It’s bittersweet. I mean, granted, I was there for their entire first year and some of their very first milestones, but still. It’s not the same. It just sucks that–although everyone keeps saying they will–I know they’re probably not going to remember me by the time I go up to visit in April. It sucks, but that’s what I signed on for when I made this decision to move. I knew going in that it was going to be tough. That I’d have to make some sacrifices. That it’d be hard…but that it’d ultimately be worth it. I haven’t lost faith in that yet. I really do think this was the best move for me.

On that note, time for bed. ‘Night ya’ll.

xoMESSIE

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