What a difference a year can make.
Or 89 years, at that.
Yesterday we celebrated my Granny’s 89th birthday. I want us all to take a moment here… EIGHTY-NINE YEARS OLD! Taylor Swift was born in 1989. My grandmother was born in 1927. Like, whaaaaaa?!
This woman still lives alone in the house that she bought with my Grandpa over 50 year ago. She leased and drives a brand new Buick. She looks like a damn beauty queen and won’t be seen in public unless she gets her hair done. I squeeze her butt and give her hugs and kisses when we’re out and about constantly, only for her to say “Now Rachel, people are gonna think you’re a lesbian.”
Everything about this woman literally takes my breath away. Even if she’s cranky or not feeling good, or she’s critiquing my driving with every mile we’re in the car together… I’d take her on her worst day than most people on their best day. I truly am in awe of every minute I get to spend with her. And I mean that with every fiber of my being.
I’ve made a point to attend almost every birthday of hers since I moved to Nashville 10 years ago. I put more weight on August 31st than Thanksgiving. People always say, “Cherish your family… Don’t take the ones you love for granted… Let the people around you know how much you appreciate them.” I have never demonstrated these thoughts/words/actions more evidently than with my Retha Mae.
Which leads me to the title of this entry.
Granny’s birthday was symbolic. Not only because she has blessed this earth for 89 years, but also, because it is an anniversary (of sorts) for me.
Last year, at this time, I made a decision.
A decision that would root me more in Detroit rather than Nashville. I’d still split the time 50/50 between the two cities, it’s just that my Tempur-Pedic bed would reside in MI for a time. I’d be working on a film project in Detroit, and yet still keeping my session work/writing appointments/writer’s rounds in Nashville just as active as before.
A couple of very dear friends of mine had offered their moving truck and their assistance last year, around springtime. However, that “move” wasn’t to be scheduled until later in the fall of 2015.
On August 29, 2015, I was sitting in on a show at the legendary Bluebird Café. I was asked to sing a couple songs, so I did, all while hearing my phone vibrate on the floor beneath my chair. When I was done singing, I checked my phone, only to see several messages informing me that my friends were still able to help me move, but it’d have to be THE VERY NEXT DAY, or else they’d be out of commission for awhile.
I immediately called my “boyfriend” at the time (*cringe*), and freaked out. I had nothing ready to go, nothing was packed. Instead of heading home and getting to work, I decided to sit in a bar across from the Bluebird and numb myself with vodka sodas. The next morning, we woke up at 6am and started making piles… KEEP/GOODWILL/THROW AWAY/SELL ON CRAIGSLIST. A couple friends came over to help later in the morning and there was just no time to second-guess, to have anxiety, to back out. By 2pm, the moving truck was there and 10 years of my life were in piles. ***You can see the Instagram video I uploaded of the move here https://www.instagram.com/p/6_DrCzBibT/
We loaded up my stuff AND my car (yes, the moving truck was big enough to fit my vehicle inside of it too!) and immediately hit the road. We drove all day and night…me, my boyfriend at the time, and my friend from OH with the truck. We spent the night at my friend’s house in Ohio, just 90 minutes shy of Detroit. The next morning, we quickly made the drive into Michigan, unloaded things into my parent’s garage and basement. There was no real plan. I couldn’t leave leave Nashville for another couple of months, so I just needed to put my stuff somewhere. And when the opportunity to move a lot of your big belongings comes along, you jump. Or else, you pay out the ass for a U-Haul and try to do all this shit on your own at a later time. Uh, no thanks.
And wouldn’t you know, the day this craziness occurred just happened to be my Grandma’s 88th birthday.
I hadn’t planned on being there. It was a complete coincidence. You see, I couldn’t get the time off of work (I was waitressing on the side) and I didn’t have the money to make the trip up, so I had chalked it up that for the first time in years, I’d miss Granny’s birthday.
I got to hug her, sing Happy Birthday to her and my sister (Lindsey’s birthday is the day before Granny’s, on the 3oth), and hang out a couple hours. After that, we backed my car off the moving truck, my ex and I got into the car, and we drove back down to Nashville that same day. (He was re-enlisting in the Air Force at 9am the next morning, and those things…well, you can’t reschedule. Ha.) On the drive back to Nashville, I was informed by the sports bar that I’d been working at for quite some time, that my services were no longer needed. No one believed that a moving truck showed up with practically no warning and despite my desperation to call co-workers and my boss to cover my shift, no one did. So I was fired.
So to recap: In a matter of 48 hours I… was told a moving truck would be there the very next day, packed up 10 years of my life in 8 hours, drove 550 miles to Detroit, unloaded my stuff, celebrated my Granny & sister’s birthday, drove 550 miles back to Nashville, and got fired from my job.
And here I am… A year later.
I look back on the madness of a year ago, and I actually laugh. It was ridiculous and frankly, quite unbelievable. The stories I have, the shit I put myself through, the hamster wheel that never stopped, the guys I insisted on (and yet was in denial of) wasting my time on…
God knew what He was doing. As frantic as it all sounds, I never doubted that the Universe did what it did to bring me here. I can’t believe how much happier I am. How much more hopeful I am. How much more motivated and passionate I am about life, my family, love, and of course, music…
I could go on and on and on about all the differences and gifts and awakenings the last 12 months has given me, but this blog entry is long enough. We will get to it.
Right now, I’m about to pack up the car and drive from Detroit to Oneida, NY with my boyfriend/the best love in the world/not the guy from a year ago, where one of my very best friends is getting married this weekend. She was my roomie/sidekick for years in Nashville and her story is a lot like mine. But again, we’ll get to that in another blog soon.
Much love to you all.
Thanks so much for reading.
And hey, call your Grandparents. They miss you.