Comfort Zones: Tennessee


At four thirty this morning Dad woke me up and cheerily prompted, “Wake up! Today marks the first day of the rest your life.” But wait, that’s everyday right?  Except today is kind of a new beginning sort of day.

After Mom made bran muffins for breakfast, after I sleepily drank some tea, and after we packed up the remaining trunk room in my Subaru, I said goodbye to my mother and to my dog who grumpily refused to let me hug her. I said a silent goodbye to the dark house, my front lawn, and Eastern Standard time.At six am, Dad and I began leg one of our cross-country trip to California. Every possession I could squeeze into the car, check. ipod, check. Cheez-its, check. Planter’s Energy Trail Mix, check.

Lev Grossman’s The Magician King audiobook on tape, check… okay, let’s roll.

And while Lev Grossman’s very adult, Harry Potteresque/Narnian sequel to his Magicians is compelling (think of another wizardly dimension where Ron and Hermione “shag” all day in a Narnian castle, say things like fuck, shit, and balls, and hunt talking animals that make people spit up blood and die), and is panning out to be way better than the reviews suggested, somewhere between Roanoke, Virginia and Jackson, Tennessee I couldn’t help silently panicking. What did I do?  I am driving away from everything I have known for the past X-amount of years. I could have stayed in the town I went to college and found some work in D.C. But thinking about staying produced a suffocating, stuck sensation–it just didn’t feel right. Sometimes we live long periods of time knowing we need to make a change and never do so out of fear of the unknown.

So I am sitting here tonight in our motel somewhere in Western Tennessee and embracing the fear, the sensation of loss, the unknown, and change. I am scared and I am not sure where I’ll end up, but tomorrow I know I’ll be in Oklahoma City.

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