Sunday, March 17, 2013

Flum Florida.

"So...what do you think?"

I looked distractedly at the crowds of running and screaming children, at the frazzled mothers pushing babies in strollers. I could empathize with the over-anxious polar bear they were watching through the plate glass.

"I think...I'll take it."

I was moving to Jacksonville.

I called my friend over and told her the news. We wandered around the zoo in total disbelief that soon, too soon, this would all be ending.

Two weeks later my stuff was ready to be shipped and, teary-eyed with an insecure hope that this was a good decision, I was headed across the country with a random girl from my ward. 5 days. 11 states. We took it slow. We stopped at Four Corners, drove along Route 66, spray painted Cadillacs in Texas, and saw a giant southern cross. We also wandered around the Oklahoma City bombing memorial, the old mill from Gone With the Wind in Little Rock, saw the Lorraine Motel where MLK, Jr. was shot, stood outside Graceland, and toured MLK, Jr's boyhood home in Atlanta. There was nothing to see in Alabama except memorials to their historic racism. We didn't stop there. I showed my new friend around St. Augustine, just south of Jacksonville, and then she flew home.
I've been here for 10 weeks now. I already talk about 50 degrees as if it's cold. Though I still refuse to turn my heat on. Or light a fire in my wood burning fireplace. I have yet to find a great radio station and I kind of miss the fact that no one calls me "Lara". I bike to the beach on Saturdays and I own a surfboard and a wetsuit. Sometimes I see dolphins. I always see pelicans. I worry about sharks. I'm also always on the lookout for alligators. I read a lot when I'm not researching ways to decorate my apartment. I found an awesome used book store and a leak in my trunk. I've had one visitor, though that will be changing soon, and I've been making a list of things I want to do and see...but am waiting for people to do and see them with. I do have a couple friends that I hang out with but I mostly spend my time with one boy. I don't think there's a lot of potential there. He's a vegan and, as you should be aware, I'm a declared hater of vegetables. Of course -- star-crossed lovers. Plus, he thinks I'm a hippie. And a feminist. So I don't think he understands me very well. But he's interesting to talk to most of the time, and he's kind of my only friend. So we make it work. Speaking of work, that actually does have a lot of potential. They emphasize fun and personal development and having a real life. I think we're going to join the ranks of the Harlem Shakers on Tuesday. My boss has also been meeting with me about future training opportunities I might be interested in and corporate recently told us that we need to make sure we're taking time off. No worries there. I've already scheduled out my vacation time for the rest of the year. First stop, Orlando with my family this weekend.

All in all, I'd say things here are going just fine.