I indulged in a long overdue haircut yesterday–for the first time in over two months–and the lovely girl from Jersey who cuts my hair had just moved from her own studio salon on my side of town to a traditi0nal salon on the other side of town. In fact, I was her first client on her first day at her new location! She’s a hoot and she amazes me every time I see her with what comes out of her mouth…I can only hope I have the same effect on people. When I asked her how she liked the new place (it’s nice, but she only has a small booth as compared to a studio salon), she responded, “This is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. I woke up this morning and felt like I was back in Jersey going to my very first salon job, but I know there’s opportunities here. So I have no regrets.” I think the only regret she had yesterday was fixing my botched hair from when I’d tried to trim it myself a couple of weeks ago. But she’d been on vacation and I needed a trim…what’s a guy to do in that situation?
Six months ago today, I quit the job I’d had for over five years to move out to lovely Las Vegas. I had people tell me I was crazy, I had people who didn’t support me, I had family members who didn’t see me off before I left town. But I also had two loving parents, the most understanding 97 year-old grandmother I’ll ever know, and a hodge-podge of good friends who wished me the best on the next chapter of my life. In the end, that’s all that matters. You’re never going to be able to please all the people all the time, so why bother trying? This move was the culmination of a year or so of (intentional quotes) “living for myself.” I’d finally gotten my hallowed college degree, and where had it gotten me? Not even out the front door of the house I’d been renting a dirt-cheap room in for three years, which was being swept up from under me for renovations/the landlord’s son’s family to move into. Life’s too short to stay somewhere just because you think that’s what people expect of you. It just is…nothing more needs to be said on that.
Six months later, where am I? I’ve lost the friends I thought I had in this new town, by my own choice.
Some might say I’m “difficult” and a “source of contention,” but I like to think I don’t relish being around an undercurrent of negativity and $30+ supper meals each week. If you’re reading this and want to be accusatory, yes, I’m talking about you, Andy Whitler. Unsubscribe from the blog now if your feelings are so very hurt…I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing how I’ve wronged you and gone behind your back to make it in this town. I know I myself tired of hearing how everyone has wronged you over and over and over and chronically taken advantage of you, so unsubscribe and move on with your life. I’ve second-guessed staying put here, but I decided to do so because I’d wanted to move out to Las Vegas long before I met any of these friends and friends of friends. I’ve made a couple of new friends and am looking forward to meeting more people in this hospitable town. In the end, though, I have to be happy with myself, and I have to make the conscious decision to be happy. That would apply whether I was living in Valdosta, GA, Nashville, TN, Alpharetta, GA, or Las Vegas, NV. Life’s also too short to live somewhere where you’re not trying your darndest to be happy, day in and day out. And guess what…nothing more needs to be said on that, either.
At the end of the day, I feel like the lady in the GIF at the top of the blog. (I made that GIF, BTW…my first and maybe only GIF!) Sure, I’ve made some grave missteps, and maybe I mislaid a few well-intentioned plans. But I’ve honestly had good intentions the entire time, and perhaps my silly missteps have been amusing to a few people. It’s hard to find one’s footing in this world, but if you have the right people backing you up and supporting you, it’s do-able. Even when you fall on your face, they’ll love and support you. No one can ask for more in this world, at least not as far as I’m concerned.
I promise-promise-promise that the next blog will be Southern Aristocracy-centric…I’m actually reading a book right now that deals with precisely that subject matter. But this personal, six-month mark was on my mind, and I was overdue for a blog post, hence this “I’ve run outta sleeve to wear my heart on,” slightly emo post. Sometimes it’s best to let the truth out, for better or worse. If we were all more honest, we’d have a great deal more compassion for each other. But I’m not a preacher, so I’ll end here. Thanks for reading, and thanks to those of you who’ve supported me these last six months. It’s not gone unnoticed, and I’m grateful for friends and family who love me and accept me for the flawed being I am. The rest of you know where you can go…and I mean to the “unsubscribe button.” Life’s too short, for the third and final time.