Twelve days ago I flew overnight across the country to Tallahassee, FL to start a new life far far far away from everything familiar. Having graduated from nursing school in early August, I quickly discovered the life of the unemployed was not for me. This prompted me to spread my wings and take my dream job on a cardiac progressive care unit in a 722 bed hospital...only problem? This dream job was 3000 miles away from the city I'd called home for over 4 years: Portland, OR.
Thankfully, my dad decided it was a good time to schedule a family reunion (almost all of his family resides in Alabama) and helped me with the monumental task of settling into my new apartment and life. I wish I could say this process went smoothly...but it really didn't. I had decided to ship all of my stuff (BEST decision I made in the whole moving process) and fly down to Tallahassee; of course the only flight we could get that allowed for the use of the coveted airline miles was a redeye with a 5 hour layover in Atlanta. Needless to say Dad and I arrived in Tallahassee sleep deprived and cranky with the monumental task of finding me a new car as quickly as possible.
In relatively short order we found ourselves at a Toyota dealership test driving a 2013 Toyota Corolla. In a surprisingly short period of time I found myself signing paperwork that made me the owner of a beautiful, white, manual transmission (quite an upgrade from the 20 year old Suburu I had been driving fro 8 years). Yes I said manual transmission. Learning to drive a manual transmission has been on my bucket list for several years. However, I overlooked one very important consideration when I bought this car: I had not driven a stick shift in several years, I had less than 8 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours (in fact sleep had been in short supply for the last 5.5 weeks since I found myself agreeing to take this job), and I had to drive this car at least as far as the airport by myself while dad drove back our rental car. Dad decided it was in my new car's best interest that we practice a bit before I undertook solo driving so we set off down the highway in what I can only describe in retrospect as a very comical experience. Several failed starts, jerky driving, and one crying session later I found myself alone in my brand new car following my dad to the airport and hoping I didn't lose him in traffic. In what I can only call a miracle due to the constant refrain of "Dear God please don't let me hit someone" I arrived at the airport without any mishap. Needless to say I was done driving at that point.
Sometime over the course of dinner I managed to stop hyperventilating and convinced myself that buying a manual car was not the worst idea I'd ever had (it was pretty high up there, or at least it seemed to be in my sleep deprived state), and decided to name my car Tinkerbell. Following that rather calming decision we ate dinner and headed to our hotel where I slept almost 12 hours in preparation for moving day...an adventure for another post!