Current Location: Nashville, TN

Hi again! Are you there everyone? It’s me, Margaret… no no, that’s not right… uh, anyway…. I hope that everyone has been doing well in the month since we last spoke, and since you all were so nice in sharing in my travels with me, I wanted to give you an update as to what it is exactly that the nomadic life has panned out to… Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen!

One month ago tomorrow, my parents and I loaded up the car (a different car at that), and left Massachusetts for Nashville, Tennessee. If you’re picturing us sipping lemonade, wearing white gloves, and casually laughing as the breeze catches our hair in a scene that’s in anyway reminiscent of Grace Kelly riding in a convertible circa 1952, well… you’re not picturing the right thing at all. If instead, you see a Ford that wishes it were an actual SUV equipped with a full-sized couch, that my mother proudly purchased from Macy’s in 2001, clutching onto the roof with all its might… let’s just say, you’re a little bit closer.

It will be one month ago tomorrow that my father encouraged me to be his faithful assistant as he prepared to move said couch down a very narrow and winding flight of stairs while explaining to me that he would simply hoist it into the roof of the car, throw on a little rope, tie a couple of knots and botta bing botta boom, ride into the sunset for 1,100 miles. If any of you have wondered what it is that made me think that I could drive 6,500 miles over the course of a month, I present you with this very line of thinking. I present you with my father.

It took us three hours to get the couch out of my parents’ townhouse, and afterwards, my father appeared as though he had just run wind sprints through the Mohave. At best, it was a tenuous scene, and at worst, it hindered on an all-systems meltdown. The stress only crescendoed hours later when we hit traffic outside of New York and traveled just 200 miles within the first five hours. Just when we thought we were home free, my mother got out of the car at a truck stop in Pennsylvania only to find that part of the couch’s tarp evidently liked New York so much that it decided to stay there. Over the course of the trip, two hours, three rolls of duct tape, bungee cords, and too many feet of rope to count became dedicated to “tarp repair.” You know how adults often say things to kids like, “I bet you can’t clean up your toys in less than ten minutes” or, “there’s no way that you can be quiet throughout the whole service at church?” Right. Well, that technique still works on my father. He’ll get anything done that you want as long as you tell him that he’ll never be able to do it. Suffice it to say, I’m sitting on this very couch right now in my new apartment and truth be told, I never envisioned it any other way.

After my couch and I settled into my apartment, I started to realize that I was the only one hanging around the pool during the day. It turned out that the other tenants were spending their days making money, at something they call, “work.” I’ve been taught to avoid all four letter words, so I didn’t immediately leap into action towards living my life with days spent at “work,” but I was getting a little bored sitting around my apartment. It turns out that a person really can only watch “Thelma and Louise” so many times before realizing that they will end up driving off that cliff. Every. Single. Time. So when WME, the company where I worked in LA, offered me a job in their Nashville office, I was ecstatic. (Sure, “ecstatic,” might be laying it on a little thick, but you never know, some of them might be reading this… Love you co-workers!).

Now that I have some amount of money coming in, I’ve decided that I can finally part with the moving boxes that I’ve been storing in the corner of my living room. As long as I was unemployed, I figured they’d be a good back-up to apartment living, but it seems that I can finally throw them away (sorry, “recycle them” just didn’t seem to do it there). As far as the adjustments to life in Tennessee, I have to say that for some reason, there haven’t been any. I miss my friends in LA, but aside from that, I feel like a formerly beached whale finally thrown back into the sea. Of course, the heat takes a bit of getting used to, but luckily, I’m an indoor cat, and central air suits me pretty well. I do miss working in TV, but I love country music a lot, so it’s been almost as exciting to be part of this business. Of course, I don’t dance, I don’t sing, and I don’t “have the rhythm in me,” so my role in this arena is somewhat undetermined. I will say though that not having any definitive goals really does take the pressure off.

Somethings have changed for me in my life here though. For instance, I can now afford to live on my own, so my dream of becoming a recluse is slowly but surely coming to fruition. I can also drive to a place that’s twenty miles away and complete the round-trip within an hour. I know this because today I drove to Franklin to pick up a second VCR that I saw on Craigslist during my lunch break. At my job here, I leave work everyday at 6:00 and make it home ten minutes later. You might think that this sounds like a good thing, but I’m actually putting this one in with “over 100 degrees at 9:00 pm” due to the fact that none of the good TV shows come on until 8:00, leaving me with roughly two hours to stay entertained.

Overall, looking back on my decision to take the trip across the country and to move back to the Southeast, I have to say, that it wasn’t a difficult one. It took me a long time to get to the point where I was ready to leave California, but once I decided to go, I no longer felt that I had made a choice. I felt as though I was doing what I had to. Whether or not this sentiment is accurate can be debated, but I’ve learned throughout this experience, more than anything, to follow the advice that I received personally from Sheryl Crow many years back. “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.” The memory of the trip continues to make me happy, and I think that it will always serve as my personal reminder to go in the direction that I feel the wind is blowing me. As long as the wind isn’t blowing me towards crack dens or dark alleys of course.

On my favorite TV show, “Beverly Hills 90210,” Kelly rejects both Brandon and Dylan in one fell swoop with the three simple words, “I choose me.” Naturally, Kelly was always a very selfish character, but in the one life that I’ve been given to lead, I’ve decided that this philosophy isn’t all bad and that doing what I want to is sometimes better than following a shepherd’s advice. Of course, it’s also been said on “90210,” that “may the bridges I burn light the way,” and there are some days that I toy with the idea of making that statement my motto instead.

In the last month I’ve pretty much just been unpacking, buying VCRs, and working away. Two of my co-workers also live in my apartment complex, and it’s been fun hanging out with them and getting to know the area. I have to say though that my instinct tells me that there are still several honky tonks out there just waiting for me to grace them with my presence. The upcoming month will be a big one for me as well. I’ll be going on a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard (“hey new job, can I have a week off?”) and then following that, I’ll be making another great migration eleven hours west to see my all-time favorite singers perform. You guessed it. The Judds. Stay tuned for the outcome of that excursion as well! I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer, and if you ever make it to Tennessee, I’ll have some Jack Daniels with your name on it. Now it’s time for the first episode of season four of “The Jersey Shore” – it’s true, I guess… somethings never change!