Monday, December 29, 2008

"...every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."

It is only fitting that the journey in Atlanta ends as it began. My first three days in Atlanta, I slept on the floor while waiting for my family to bring my stuff and alas, they came last night to take my bed back with them and here I lie on the floor. What you see is what you get. All that is left of my life here in Atlanta is a pile full of covers and a laptop. I have to be honest, as the apartment emptied out this morning, I questioned my choice for a split second but after taking a nap on my cold, hard floor, I felt better. Well, I felt better mentally at least! There are so many "what ifs" and "maybes" for me right now but that is ok, I have made the choice and for better or for worse, I am going. I hit a snag on my path to Australia yesterday as I tried to wire my money from my US account to my Aussie account and I found out that Credit Unions can't wire money to foreign countries. So, I am going to take traveler's cheques and then deposit them directly into my account upon arrival because if I take a Cashier's check, it will take up to a week for them to verify the funds. Then, I really will be hungry and angry on the other side of the world. For my final adventure in Atlanta; my Mom, Dad, brother Andrew, his friend Jessie, and I went to visit the Olympic Park and the kids tried ice skating, which was more like slush skating since the ice was melting but for kids from Florida, any ice skating is worth mentioning! I let them ride MARTA at night, which was a mistake. If I get shanked, fine but nobody can shank my Mama. That just isn't right. So, the countdown is on. I leave for Aussieland in 9 days (I just felt awkward). It will truly be something remarkable because I never thought that I would actually have the courage to do this. I appreciate everyone's encouragement and support, it means a lot to me. Thank you all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

"...and so this is Christmas and what have we done..."

Christmas, my favorite day of the year (cue the crickets chirping). Actually, I have never, ever been a fan of the day. Not even as a young kid. The day has always been tainted by some disagreement or unsettled feelings that creep up in the midst of togetherness. It drives me insane. I do not need a gift from anyone on this planet but I want an experience. I want a day in which we put away pride, pettiness, stubbornness, and all the other ugly qualities that we may possess and actually show gratitude and appreciation to the people that we care about. Life is so short and you realize it even more when since the last Christmas you had, you have lost someone you love. So, why fight? Why argue? It makes zero sense and ultimately, ruins the day for everyone around. Hubris is a quality that will always leave you alone and bitter. It isn't about who is right, it is about doing what is right! But, I digress. With that said, last night I fielded many family questions about my Aussie adventure and I was happy to do so. I feel like this is the only choice for me in life right now and more than anything, I would love for them to experience it with me. I brought another car load of stuff down from Atlanta and the last bit will come down with me on the 31st. I received, via email, my new Australian telephone number and there are so many digits, I don't know what to do! I, also, have to go to the bank tomorrow to transfer cash into my new Australian bank account. We will see how it all goes but we are down to 12 days away. To wrap it all up, I hope that all of you have had a great Christmas and we should all take time to remember that the gifts we get mean very little and that the people we get them from should mean much more.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"...I know this is the part, where the end starts..."

This weekend was my grand finale at the restaurant. As annoying as the "guests" of the restaurant are, and I use the term "guests" loosely because that would insinuate that we willingly invite them in, the staff has always been great and I feel like I am leaving with good friends and good memories. The place really helped me on many levels. Of course, monetarily but also as an outlet and as an escape from the crazy that sometimes lives in my head. Many nights, I would have sat home depressed and lonely but they kept my spirits up and I hope that I have relayed to them how much that means to me. I am going to miss all of the jokes, laughs, and inappropriate comments. Ahh, good times! With all that said, my restaurant people brought me a cake and card tonight. It was nice and much appreciated. The remainder of the cake now resides in my refrigerator and will be used as a frosting-covered Xanax for when my first real panic attack happens. I am thinking that will be soon! And just for anyone who ever questions my whole "stuckatseven" life philosophy, let me explain to you why life keeps me humble. As I am getting ready to leave, after a night of good memories...I turn the corner and BAM! I slam right into another server carrying a tray full of drinks and they shatter on the ground and I am covered in soda. Life makes sure that all my important moments are punctuated with embarrassment. With that said, I will leave you with three notes on restaurant work: 1.) Just because they are serving you, doesn't mean that they are your servant. Tip appropriately and be friendly. 2.) Being a server doesn't equal stupidity and if you think it does, then you are stupid. That's right, I said it. And 3.) I am going to miss each of you from the restaurant. I have met some of the most interesting people through working there and it has definitely shaped my Atlanta life. So, thank you! Here are a few photos from my last shindig. Oh and one last thing, I hope that I have paid my restaurant dues and as much as I have enjoyed working there, I am hoping that I will never have to work at one again but if I do, I can only hope to enjoy the people as much as I have here in Atlanta.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"...and I have lived so many lives, though I'm not old..."

It is cold. So, I am down to 24 days until my flight leaves. (Pause for a panic attack) Ok, I'm back. I will be working my fingers to the bone until I leave because anyone that knows me, knows that I need to save, save, save to ensure that I am not homeless on a beach in Australia. Can you feel sad for a homeless person who lives on a beach? Probably so. Either way, no days off for me until I leave Atlanta for Christmas and then I will return and work my final, few days at LOMA and then be on my way. I have a few things that I need to figure out, 1.) I have to set up an Aussie bank account, which can be done online 2.) I have to secure cell (or now, I guess I have to be pretentious and say mobile) service and 3.) I have to figure out what goes with me and what stays. Someone recently told me to pack my bag and lay out the money that I want to take with me and I should "reduce the clothing by half and double the money". It sounds like sound advice to me! I really hope that this journey is good for me. It is tough because when you have wanted to do something for so long, you can easily set yourself up for disappointment but I am trying to go in with an open mind and a malleable plan. Nothing set in stone, just go with the flow. That is tough for me because I like order and to have control, so this will be interesting. Also, if anyone is looking for inspiration or to follow a dream that you have always had, I recommend the book, "What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?" by Diane Conway. It is a series of short, real-life stories of how people made a commitment to following a dream and how they ended up better off because of it. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

...messages and misperceptions paralyze my mind...

Let's be honest, this week has been tough on me. I went to Boston for work and prior to that, I had been in Pensacola for Thanksgiving, so I was worn out from travel. So, I am tired physically and mentally. Today, I received some news that shattered my ideal situation a little bit and it has gotten me down but at the end of the day, I am ok. It is just funny to me how life keeps humbling me. I refuse to get my hopes up over anything because it doesn't work out for me. I don't get it but I am not going to be a downer because in the current state of our country, there are far more people with far greater worries than me. So, I am done with that.

I am a month out from the plane flight and I have only clothing, a bed, tv, and a few smaller items left in the apartment. When I think of what I am doing, it is weird to me. I have dreamed of this forever and as I look around at my tiny, little space in the world, I can't believe that I am going. Someone told me once that "nothing worth doing is easy" and it is so true. I question why I just don't suck it up and succumb to the drudgery of "normal" life but I just can't do it right now. I need to have this experience for better or for worse and if I fall flat, I guess I need to do it on my own terms. Since I started college, I have always worked, at least, two jobs (for a while, I was pulling three with full college credit too) and I just question when I will be done "paying my dues"! On the flip side, those "dues" that I paid are funding this trip! Let's hope it is not in vain.

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