30 days later.

Yesterday morning, my mother left Nashville to go back to the homeland. She was actually here long enough to see the seasons change. When she came, those trees in our condo complex were just branches with dormant buds. By the time she left, they had all bloomed and those petals are the ones blanketing the parking area like snow. I never noticed they were cherry blossom trees. How appropriate.

Yesterday was also my first day back at my part-time retail job that I’ve had since I’ve been out of college. In fact, it’s really the only work that I’ve been able to hold down. Going to work meant that I needed to drive to get there, so I got to drive by myself for the first time since January. Though it’s a very short distance, it was nice to get in the car and turn on the radio so I can listen to “Wait, Wait. Don’t Tell me” as I drove into work, something I used to do every Sunday right before my shift. It’s been fine listening to Kelly Clarkson’s new CD every time I was in the car with my sister, but I just need more variation that hearing “Life would suck without you” on a loop. I almost missed the one turn I have to make, but otherwise, I know I can at least drive this distance.

It was nice to be back to doing something outside of my house. I also really hadn’t interacted with anyone outside of my family for the last few months, so going to work obviously forced me to do so. I’ve understood the importance of social support and forming relationships as a concept but have never applied it to my own life. I have been more inclined to be like that “Rock” in that Simon and Garfunkel song. But it wasn’t until some people welcomed me back to my workplace and then chatting for a moment that I realized I already had relationships with other people. I just never chose to value or be grateful to any of those types of bonds in the past. I guess you can only successfully aspire to be that ‘rock’ or an ‘island’ in a song lyric, but doing that in real life will only come to end up hurting yourself, and oftentimes others around you. Clearly, this behavior has not gotten me anywhere, because rocks and islands, by their respective nature, can’t go anywhere.

I really should learn this lesson.

On the drive back from work, I got to listen to “Car Talk.” I think I feel better than this whole past week, thank goodness. I do feel bad for Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols, though.


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