I am not an adventurer. That much I know for sure. I don't make a lot of plans in advance, but I also don't make a lot of plans that would end up changing my life in any significant way. I've never done anything that was a risk. I don't take risks. I've never quit a job without a back-up, I've never bought anything without knowing I could afford to make the payments.
In fact, since graduating High School in 2000, I have lived in the same house, worked at the same job, and went to the same school. These three things fall into the same categories above. I never moved out because as I've mentioned, I never bought anything without knowing I could afford it. My job did not allow me to afford it, but I couldn't quit because I did not have a new job lined up. Since I was 17 I have consistently had employment, always put in my 2 weeks notice, and only called in a handful of times. My work ethic is incredible!
Why am I telling you this? Because all of these things have changed. I now live in Nashville, in an apartment I found on Craigslist with a roommate that I have only seen for about 5 minutes since I have know him. Though I still work at my current job in Louisville, (where I am required to work at least 1 day a pay period in order to stay on the payroll) I have a new job as well.
I would hope by now that most people know that the reason I am down here is because I am interning at Hatch Show Print. Many people don't know why I am here really. A majority of people seem to think that I am going to school, and others just don't know what a Hatch Show Print is or does. I don't start the internship till Monday so I have the entire weekend to get settled into my new surroundings. I don't know if I am doing too well.
We(mom and I) got down here around 1PM Friday the 12th and moved everything in which was only about 10 boxes and my bike. Then we got Panera Bread for lunch, and she headed back to Louisville around 3PM(I think, the hour time difference kind of messed with me). I was all alone in my new apartment setting up my room and unpacking. Hours went by, and I was pretty much unpacked and everything was arranged. My roommate came home from work, gave me the password to the internet and then left to hang out with friends. I was all alone again.
I wasn't hungry, but I knew that I would have to go to the grocery and get something to eat besides the 3 boxes of Dr. Pepper I had brought with me. So I looked up groceries on Garman, and started to wander around the neighborhood in search of Foodland. Foodland apparently, is now Apple Market. Apple Market has the worst lighting, and worst selection of groceries I have ever seen before. I am used to having Kroger's in either direction, and Meijers, and a few Super Wal-marts.
There was a Target and a Kroger about 3 miles away, but in my new area, leaving your parking space is asking for trouble because there are meters, and then a few strips of free parking right in front of the building, but that's it! So it being Friday night and this being a pretty hip part of town, I walked to the Cr-apple Market. I bought pasta and sauce, a bag of rice stuff, sandwich bags and some ham and cheese for sandwiches at work. I carried it on home past all the people walking with their friends and having a great time.
I've been alone before. I have gone for long periods of time without dating, and other times I have felt like some of my friends only used me when their "real" friends were occupied, but I always knew that I could count on someone to be there for me when I needed them. But as I walked around Nashville I don't know if I have ever felt so alone in my life. That loneliness mixed with the thoughts of spending the next 2 months here made me feel even worse. I felt like David Byrne in the song "Once in a Lifetime" wandering around the darkness, hitting myself, wondering where my beautiful house was, asking "how did I get here?"
"MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE?"
I went home and the apartment was still empty and cold. I still didn't feel like eating, so I listened to music and got onto Facebook as if I could reach into the screen and be back in Louisville. I couldn't, but Kara called, and them my mom beeped in on the call, and my brother was there too. It was as if I had clicked my heels and said "there's no place like home". It was weird to me how I can be so alone for so many hours, and then all at once everyone is calling me. That was ok with me though.
I ended up going to sleep around 7or8PM. The place is freezing, and I could hear people shouting outside of my window. It sounded like people were standing on the balcony yelling which echoed off the porch, or down the stairs or off the wall of the dentist next door. I had a hard time sleeping, but didn't know what else to do with my time. I thought I would read, but didn't feel like it. I thought I would write about what I am writing right now, but I didn't feel like it. I felt like hanging out with my friends, or playing Mario Bros. Wii with my brother.
This all may sound over dramatic, but this is a new event for me. I have never been away from home longer than a week, and when I go, I usually have friends/family/employees to talk to. I have never gone to college out of state, and have never interned anywhere before this, so everything about this is new to me.
It makes me wonder about all of those times when I was younger where I thought that if I moved to a new city I could be confident in myself, and make tons of friends. Somehow, I thought that if no one knew me then I could be myself. The truth of course being that even in Louisville, not a lot of people know me and I am still my awkward, and confidence lacking self, but people love me. The fortune cookie from my last dinner out in Louisville even told me so. I mean it HAS to be true then right?
I don't want this to be a pitty party. The truth is that I know this will be great, and I just have to deal with the changes that are thrown at me. I need to make positive use of my free time. This is a great experience, and I am excited about all the prospects it offers. I pictured myself riding my bike everywhere, eating healthy, reading books, maybe working on grad school stuff, and artwork.
The Only reason I am spilling my guts about everything I am feeling with this internship, is that this is supposed to be a place where my art work, art inspiration and internship is chronicled, and for me to do nothing but talk up the greatness of the shop, and Nashville would be misleading. There is more to this internship than me making prints. I still exist when I leave, and I have to learn how to exist when I am not in the shop. When I wrote my cover letter for the internship I told them:
I believe that the life experience gained by moving to a new city, being on my own for the first time, and working in a field as exciting as printmaking, will be personally beneficial.
And I believe it will.