I’ve been living in middle Tennessee for one year today. Yep. This is the one year anniversary of my move from Colorado (the mountains) to Tennessee (the molehills).
Now if you ask someone from Tennessee–particularly someone from east Tennessee and even more particularly, someone who has never lived or travelled out west–they will tell you that Tennessee has mountains. And I can see their argument from a southern point-of-view. But I am in fact not a southerner–I am a westerner, born and bred–and in my estimation, a state whose highest elevation is 6,643 feet does not qualify as possessing mountains. No, I’m sorry my southern friends, Clingmans Dome is a molehill. If you doubt the veracity of this claim, allow me to take you on a trip to the comparatively much higher 14,440-foot Mount Elbert in Colorado’s Sawatch Range. From this vantage point, your breath is–quite literally–taken away as you gaze out upon endless peak after endless peak.
Mind you, I am not insulting the great state of Tennessee. I am just correcting a few misnomers for the sake of accuracy.
So! It’s been a year. And no doubt my friends and family are just dying to know what I think of southern living. I know I would be were I in their shoes. The trouble is, I’m not really sure how to answer. And believe me, I’ve put thought into it.
When I first started dating my girlfriend, she told me to just give it a year and I’d learn to love it here. She should know. She was born and raised in Oregon. Apparently it only took her three hundred and sixty-five long, grueling days to stop missing her insanely beautiful state complete with–you guessed it–real mountains and to start loving Tennessee.
Well, as you might imagine, I had my doubts, but since I had little choice I decided to give it a whirl. So I did. I whirled it. Complete with whirling. I whirled it, and I whirled it and I whirled it. Around and around I whirled it. And then, just to be sure, I whirled it some more.
Actually, it’s still whirling.
Buuuuuuut I’m not there yet.
She also mentioned something about not comparing Colorado to Tennessee. Can you believe she said that? I know! Right?! Not comparing Colorado to Tennessee would be akin to not comparing a five carat diamond to a quarter-carat cubic zirconia. When you’ve experienced one, it’s awfully difficult not to compare the two.
After all, every one and their mother is moving to Colorado in droves. There’s a reason for that, and it ain’t because it’s cheap to live there. Because it isn’t. Not even a little bit.
(By the by, I’ve always wanted to use the phrase “in droves” in a sentence. You just experienced a milestone in my life. Strike up the band!)
That’s not to say that Tennessee doesn’t have its charms. It does! For example: it rains. A lot. All the time. And when it rains, whoa baby it rains! I’ve never seen rain like the rain I’ve seen in Tennessee. Think I’m kidding? Franklin, Tennessee has a major street aptly named “Noah Drive.” And in May of 2010, Nashville was completely flooded by a downpour that just wouldn’t stop. And just last week, I personally saw rain falling sideways. And it wasn’t really “falling”; it was more like attacking.
And the drivers! Let me tell you! Until you’ve experienced a completely sober driver at 2:00 PM speeding across three lanes of highway traffic at seventy miles-per-hour without looking over their shoulder, well, you just haven’t lived.
But, I digress.
It’s been a year. Twelve months. Fifty two weeks. Three hundred and sixty-five days. Eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty-six hours. Thirty one million, five hundred fifty-six thousand and nine hundred twenty-six seconds.
Buuuuuuut I’m not there yet.
Maybe next year.
In the mean time, come along with me on this journey, won’t you? In the days and weeks to come, I will be posting with varied frequency about my first year in Tennessee and about the adventures I encounter as I step boldly into year two.
How did I get here? Sometimes I can hardly remember. The past year has been filled with ups and downs, joys and heartache, sleep and sleeplessness, much laughter and much frustration.
But maybe together we’ll figure it out and discover some new and life changing things along the way.
Remember to maintain a sense of humor. This blog is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. I have seasoned it greatly with a helping of dry humor and a pinch of sarcasm. Don’t take what you read too seriously and with a bit of luck, along the way, maybe I’ll make you laugh a little.
Be sure to check out my “tweets” on the sidebar to the right. As the mood strikes me, I’ll post little musings on Twitter during the week which will show up in that sidebar. It’s kind of a “blog-within-a-blog.”
Never forget what Grandma always said: “It’s all mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” –Grandma.