A year ago, I was blogging every day of the month as part of my #MakeNovemberTolerable campaign. I’ve long despised November for all the negative things that seem to converge upon this month, and last year’s effort was to see the beautiful things among memories of my dog dying, my Internet friend dying, and the swirling malaise that plucks leaves from branches, twirling them to the cold floor.
I’ve watched approximately seven Boy Meets World episodes in their entirety, though plenty of passing clips. I’ve blogged about this show in the past, including its spinoff, because my younger sister would watch it after school, and the strong friendship between Corey and Shawn always kept my eyes craning.
Lately, life circumstances have again caused me to draw from the well of this TGIF sitcom.
I still remember sitting in that YMCA conference room last March, my third day of training for this new job and just my fourth day living in Asheville. I stared out the giant bay windows, mesmerized by flaky snow drifting downward from a vast gray expanse.
This city I’d only ever known for summer camps and tanktops now threw me a new, wintry contrast.
I hate new years. I hate resolutions. I hate the assumption that just because the calendar changes from one month and one year to the next, the past is wiped clean and anything is possible — well, for about two and a half weeks. And then it’s back to tubs of ice cream and pornography.
While I, like many people, was happy to see the coffin close on 2016, I also entered 2017 feeling fast doses of reality flowing in my veins.
Your bike chain breaks.
The rains pour down.
Last weekend, I returned to one of those pivotal places of the past. The city: Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My last official #RunningTo stop before retreating to a cabin in the woods for 36 solitary hours to figure out whether I’d move to Milwaukee or Gettysburg or Charlotte to round out my 9 months on the road. I’d walked the glitzy strip that reminded me of Las Vegas and Niagara Falls, complete with ridiculous Ripley’s and Guinness museums and approximately 17 separate old tyme photo shops.
And at the end of the strip, a Starbucks: the last place I’d have WiFi until I had a new home. I remember sitting at the end circular table, tweeting my last tweet, and insta-ing my last Instagram: a high-speed drive through the wintry Smokies before fleeing like Chris McCandless into the wild . . .