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Monday, October 4, 2010

The Weekend that Flew By

A great weekend has come to a close. I have kept myself busy so as not to get depressed that Elise is no longer here...but coming home after work was kind of sad tonight, and very quiet. It was awesome hanging out with somebody as nocturnal as I am once again. In all honesty, it was just a blast and it's very, very hard not to be sad. This weekend (which I'll get to in detail in a second) finally put in front of my face what I've been trying to avoid for a long time. While I may have grown up in Chattanooga, it has become clear that Mississippi is where I want to be...for a long, long time. The thing is, I like my job most of the time and I have made some good friends here. I love being near my parents and we have gotten so much closer since I moved back home, simply because I get to see them so much more often. But my heart? It's in Mississippi. The friends I have there are so wonderful and they don't even know it. To them, giving of yourself to a friend is only natural...but as I have come to learn, not everybody thinks that way. They are always willing to give whatever they have to others, but it's so much more than just things. I am completely myself around them...and they love me for it. Not just tolerate, but love me. They want me around so much that they constantly remind me that I need to move home. These are people that have lived with me, have picked me up and held me close when I am at my lowest, laughed with me even when it was stupid, and have chosen to keep me in their lives despite everything we have been through (and maybe partly because of it)...and I put them through a lot. We fight, as all friends are prone to do, but it truly brings us closer in the end.

When Elise was here, we watched some old webcam videos we made when we worked at Subway in Oxford together. We were goofy and ate for the duration of almost every video, but that's not what I notice. Though it seems like the opposite would be true, we weren't putting on a show. There are several times when we walk away from the camera to help customers, and you can hear us talking and having a good time. What struck me was how incredibly happy I was. It wasn't contrived, and it wasn't work, it was honesty. I was 21, had a job where I spent most of my time, a roommate that was so much like me (especially in terms of humor!), parties to go to every weekend if I wanted to go (and mostly I did), I was attending a school I adored, and I was almost always broke but never really cared. I was surrounded by people who always had my back as I had theirs, and had been for a long time. After a while, I had forgotten friendships that weren't completely give and take...and to be honest I had few, if any, of those growing up either. Of course, we all always asked each other nicely if we were positive it was okay for the other to get the drinks, dinner, etc. that time...but it always was. There was an unspoken get the drinks this time, and I'll buy when I get paid again. And nobody cared a bit. We all trusted each other, and for good reason. Elise reminded me that these friends, these wonderful, unique girls, are still like that...only now I am very aware that there are people out there who just don't operate that way. I wasn't even allowed to question it when she wanted to get me something. She knew I don't have much money, but she didn't bring it up. She just gave. There are some people here who behave similarly, but I have been subjected to some not-so-nice people who have no problem taking but always expect payback ASAP when I need to borrow anything. It's not that I expect people to give me stuff and help me out when I need it, but that's the whole point. More so than the actual things that they give me, what is important to me is that they always want to. I have always treated my friends (and roommates) that way, and had gotten very used to being treated the same way. I need to move back home.

I am very aware that we have all grown up a little bit, and it won't be like college all over again. Honestly, I don't want to always spend my free time fact, I rarely even want to go out anymore. Getting dolled up has become more of a special occasion and less of a norm, and I love it. I have a blast when I do go out with good friends, but I'm just as content to sit around in pajamas watching movies, drinking coffee, and talking. My friends are intelligent people, and our conversations are often completely random and enthralling. I, quite simply, adore them. Occasionally I don't mind explaining things to people, but afer a while it is irritating. With people like Elise and Kristin, I don't have to explain myself very often and it's very refreshing. Anyway, let me tell you about my absolutely fantastic weekend with one of my very best friends.

Elise had planned to arrive relatively early on Friday evening, but ended up getting here around 11 PM. I didn't mind since it took that entire day to clean my apartment and get some studying done, but I was so excited when she got here. We both got quick showers (well, she took a bath) and then the two of us and Allie went to meet some of my work friends at Diamond's (a pool hall). We had such a good time, and didn't get tired at least, Elise and I didn't. After the bar closed at 3, we dropped Allie off at the apartment and went to Waffle House. We talked forever and ate more than I had eaten on any given day in the past month. Once we got back home, we kept talking and didn't end up falling asleep until after 6 AM. It was awesome. Saturday was spent, in large part, lounging around. I woke up relatively early for such little sleep, and sat outside on the porch with a mug of coffee reading and studying a little until Elise woke up. She joined me outside for some coffee and some more chatting. We didn't end up going out until 8 for dinner, venturing downtown to my favorite sushi restaurant in town, Sekisui. After dinner, we came back to the apartment and got ready to go out. We stopped by my parents house because they adore Elise and my brother was also in town. After talking to my parents for a while, we went downtown again to Hair of the Dog (I love that bar). The night was going pretty normally, until about 10 minutes before last call. Both Elise and I were working on our second whiskey and Dr. Peppers when one of my regulars at work drunkenly struck up a conversation with us. It was somewhat embarrasing, but hilarious. And THEN, a random old man (seriously, gray hair and all) comes up and just stares at us. I could be wrong but he seemed to be on something a little stronger than just alcohol. He managed to say "hi" but otherwise just lurked creepily and then...he sat down with us. It would have been pretty scary if we weren't in a crowded bar and if it hadn't been so funny. I haven't finished a drink that fast since college. Once we left, it was back to my apartment where we once again stayed up until well after 6 AM just talking and reminiscing.

We were even lazier on Sunday, which I feel pretty bad about because we missed both brunch with my family and my brother's new girlfriend (who I still haven't met because she was asleep when we got to my parents' house, having done a triathalon that day) and dinner with my parents later that night. We didn't even leave the apartment until we had "lunch" at around 5:30 PM. Two margaritas, some chips and salsa and cheese dip, and some shared fajitas later, we went back home and did absolutely nothing. Since both of us spend so much of our time working and on the go, it was nice. Later that night (or morning really) was when we watched all of our old webcam movies, which even I haven't watched in forever (I say it that way because they are on my computer) and cracked up for hours. We also talked about how fun it was living together, and the old group of friends having parties, and working, and all of those things best friends reminisce about. Once again, we didn't fall asleep until way early in the morning. There is always a lot to be said between old friends who rarely see each other...and stuff that never needs to be said. We got a few hours of sleep, and then it was time for her to pack up and leave. I forced myself not to cry, because I'm trying not to be the whiner these days. I led her out of town and then went back home and got ready for work. I'm actually glad I had to work because otherwise I just would have moped around...and that's pretty pointless. She made it home safely, thank heavens, but I can't help but think how far away everybody is once again. Growing up can be fun, but it certainly is hard.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my friends. I decided that I'm going to actively look for jobs in Mississippi, and also graduate schools with good counseling programs, and scholarships to attend them. Maybe nothing will come of my searching. Or maybe I'll find a terrific job here (or 2nd in my field) and stay. All I know is something has got to give. I either need to find a way to move to Mississippi or earn enough money here to visit frequently. Either way, I have to get my happy back. I know that even during those times when I was so happy in Oxford I had very bad days. My mind functions that way, and that's never going to change. But as bad as the times were, they were few and far between. Yes, much of it had to do with the town of Oxford, but it really all came down to the people. I miss them, and since I know life is short and memories are forever, I want to see them more often. Or, you know, everyday. I need to feel good again, because I know I can. And they would say I'm worth it too.

1) Mango and strawberry margaritas on Sunday at Amigos.
2) Karma sleeping on the porch while Elise and I talked
3) Copper snoozed some, too.