I have realized that my ability to blog directly correlates with my ability to upload pictures :) I have LOADS I want to say and talk about and show everyone, and the pictures to go with it, but this stupid computer for SOME reason wont let me upload. So I am upset.
And I feel bad because lets face it, half the fun in reading and blogging is for the pictures, and I feel like I am not delivering to my audience, especially since I have the capability to do so. (I will try tomorrow from Adam's computer if I don't get stuck napping :) But, I do have things to say so I am going to blog anyways :) Sorry for the solid wall of text.
Moving to Tennessee has been the greatest thing, and a large challenge for me. One of the greatest things about being out here is that Adam is in his element. For you to understand what that is like, you have to see him as he is now, or have experienced him talking about Neuro, teaching neuro, reading or learning neuro. He is a different man and I think it was that man in the brain hat (yes, he actually has a hat that looks like a brain) that I fell in love with first.
Being in a house he knows and loves, in neighborhoods, on streets, with people that he grew up with his whole life, a ward that knows his whole history- for some reason that brings out all the best in Adam. He flourishes in the wet heat out here, working on houses with his dad, chatting it up with the non members. And seeing him so incredibly happy, especially after such a hard semester, makes me the happiest person in the world.
I am also very happy. I love the ward. I love how people are married with kids but their lives revolve around the thoughts THEY are having, the books they are reading and not... their children's diapers? Is that horrible to admit? Don't get me wrong. We can have a conversation about your kids poo sometimes. Just... not all the time :)
I love Adams friends. BOY do I love them. I try to imagine what being in high school must have been like when you were friends with all of them and it would have been so much fun... if you were really smart :) They are chill, content with themselves, intelligent yet... still fairly young and a little stupid and adventurous people.
I love the place itself. I have never in my life been somewhere that is so constantly beautiful. So green, so lush, so many colors of flowers, so many trees. Seeing the mist rise off the Smoky Mountains every morning as I drive into work... it does something for my heart I never knew it could. The sun rises and sun sets, the thunder storms. About the only thing I DON'T like about nature out here are the huge bugs. But that I can even live with. I think :) As long as they are not in my bedroom I can cope.
But where Adam is in his element... I am not. I am with people I haven't met, in a house I don't know, in a culture I am not familiar with, and with a family I didn't grow up with. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW I am good adjusting. That has never been a worry. But that doesn't make it easy.
There are all sorts of things that take getting used too. Such as a family that does things very differently than mine. For example, in my family, I am the second oldest. In Adams, I am the very youngest. I can attest to you now that YES parents treat the oldest and the youngest children VERY differently. Adams family is relaxed, quiet, calm, and VERY open about... well everything.
My family? I think even in the very middle of the night there is noise from someones radio, someone snacking in the kitchen, lights on from teenagers who have to finish writing chapters to books :) And unless we are cuddling and saying, "I love you! You are so pretty!" Or we are talking seriously one on one, we don't "share" feelings. One on one we are great. But we don't have- family open time. And we are NEVER negative with one another. (Good and bad thing depending on the situation.)
You see what I mean? These are not bad or hard things I am getting used to- they are just different. It makes it... not really hard but strange. I feel awkward sometimes because I don't know how to act, or react to different people (and not just Adams family. The southerners are a whole different race from Oregonians. You have to treat them differently) and different situations.
I get frustrated with myself a lot. Mostly because I am not used to not excelling at somethin unless it is math. So when I feel awkward around people, make a mistake at home or have to take a LOT of constructive criticism at work, I feel like I need a whole package of Oreos. And this is the south- so those are readily available with whole milk and lard based frosting to go with. (Heavens!)
But- I am getting there. This is a happy post. Adam and I have been taking some time on a suggestion from a friend of mine who has been in a similar situation as me, to make a space for ME. We have rearranged the room we are in with furniture we like, with our bedding, and our goal for next weekend is to break out our box of pictures. Though we cant put holes in the walls, seeing my homemade blankets on the beds, my books and magazines on the shelves, makes me feel closer to home than ever.
Adam was wonderful and he pulled a nice black chair that reclines from his old bedroom and put it right next to the desk his computer is on. Its my new writing chair :) I used to have a crappy blue swivel chair in high school that I lived in every night, and hD all my dreams in, and my BEST work came out of it. So this new chair, right next to a poster of England with all my wonderful girls on it, does a lot for me.
And I do love it here. I love that I can go to Wal Mart in PJ's and without make up (yes I did that today) and not feel embarrassed. I love that everyone calls me sweet heart. I love that if I drop my cell phone two people will dive to pick it up for me. I love that every time my car has stalled some young man will come out and seen if I need help. I love that old people wave and smile at me when I walk by them on the street. Chivalry and neighborliness are alive here in the south my friends. At least in this corner of it.
I love how in the evenings, everything slows down. People sit down when they got home from work to cook and eat as a family. Or when Adam and I go out and get barbecue with our friends, we sit and talk until the sun goes down. People will take off the whole day to watch World Cup. And that is normal. They take an hour and a half to eat lunch. They sit outside on their porches to watch the rain storms.
Yes, it has taken some adjusting. And it will take more so I know. But the longer I am here in ol' Johnson City Tennessee, the more I see myself living here for the rest of my life. (Not in my in laws house mind you. :) That is great for now but someday I want a smaller porch all to my own :)