It’s All Good

Summer is here and good things are happening, friends. One not-so-good thing to get out of the way before the good things: John is in Austin all summer for an internship. I mean, it is really good that he has a wonderful internship that could lead to a career of his dreams and everything, but I miss him, you know? One more not-so-good thing: that thing I wrote about last week that I really don’t want to talk about again because I drained all my emotions into that one post and now I’m working on the healing stuff. So, let’s keep trekking along.

Good things. There are so many, but let’s start with this week — or this weekend, more specifically. This weekend marks the third CMA Fest in a row that my sister and I will attend together. This festival has all the things: FREE country concerts all day long for four days straight; beer; and my favorite city (which is also where I now live), Nashville.

The fact that I live here for this year’s fest may be what I’m looking forward to most. Last year, we stayed in a friend’s ex-boyfriend’s one bedroom apartment (there were four of us), and I slept on a chair — not a couch, a CHAIR — with an ottoman to support my lower half. But the ottoman would slowly slide further and further away as I slept, and I’d wake up with a foot of space underneath my lower back. Let me tell you, a chiropractor would have been a good idea after that trip.

And the year before that, we stayed in an Airbnb that, granted, was a great deal, but I’m pretty sure the rickety mattress we slept on was 80 years old, and we still had to take 20-minute Uber rides anytime we went downtown. (Chiropractor would’ve been sweet after that one, too.) So, to be in my own bed every night after standing in 90-degree heat for 12 hours every day sounds majestic. (Yeah, I’m basically 25 going on 87 years old.) Plus, I’m only 10 minutes tops from downtown! Bingo.

If you like country at all, I recommend this festival because you can go to free concerts all day, and you don’t have to camp (unlike several *cough* or all? *cough* other country festivals). If you want to see bigger-name artists, you can buy tickets to the nighttime concerts for a couple-hundred bucks, but honestly the day ones are more fun (again, grandma over here), you can get way closer to the performances, and you’ll still see performers you recognize.

Speaking of hanging out with my sister, let’s move on to good thing number two. Kelsey is doing travel nursing right now, and she recently found out that her assignment will be in Nashville this summer. I know! John is away and I’m alone but now Kelsey will be here and it’s almost like we planned this whole thing…

Oh, yeah. We did. But none of us really thought it would all work out! Most Nashville hospitals she was applying to needed three years’ experience, and then a few weeks ago she got a call from one that only needed two, and then the stars aligned and voila. She’s a-comin’ to Nashville right after CMA Fest! So much sister time. I can’t wait.

Good thing numero tres has to do with being reacquainted with my independence. Since moving here last July, John and I have made some friends, mostly through his MBA program since me being a nanny and a freelancer doesn’t lend itself to a whole lot of new people introductions. Plus, I had a good friend and some acquaintances here from when I interned in Nashville four summers ago.

But, let’s be honest, between our different schedules and moving to a new town together, we have spent the majority of our free time with each other over the last year, exploring the town and taking our dog, Piper, hiking or on walks and (obviously) hanging out at home together with Netflix and home-cooked meals.

So, when he got the internship in Austin, I think we were both a little nervous. I’ve always been okay with being on my own, but this time would admittedly be different (also, we didn’t find out about Kelsey getting her assignment here until a couple weeks after John’s departure).

However, truth be told, it has been nice to rely solely on myself again. I miss John and his companionship, presence, and cooking skills, but being the one to do everything for the house and our dog, plus my own writing and editing work, nannying, etc., — which all seemed very daunting to think about at first — has retaught me that I can handle a lot. I’ve lived with John for nearly a year, and we’ve dated almost three, and I haven’t really had to tough out life and all its nitty-gritty details by myself in probably as much time.

I was on the phone with my mom the other day, and she was asking if I’ve been okay with him being away the last few weeks. I told her, “I’m really fine, actually! I miss him, of course, but when I’m at home, I just walk around with my phone in my hand with a podcast constantly playing. I’m never lonely!” Yeah, I was kind of kidding (sometimes I walk around with music playing, too), but it’s a testament that I can be pretty content on my own, even if it’s aided by my imaginary friends via podcasts.

It might seem trivial to survive a few months without my boyfriend — boo hoo — and I certainly know people have it far worse off than I do, but it’s been a little victory to meet my independence full-on face to face once more. I hope to keep her around more often, even after John returns — but I’m fine with putting him back in charge of trash duty. Independence and I don’t like that chore.

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