I wrote my last blog post just over two years ago. A LOT has changed since then…
Two years ago, I was living in West Lafayette, IN, hating the cold and the snow and the ice. I was counting down the days until I was done with my classes and could come home to Alabama. Let me just say, there is nothing wrong with Indiana (if you like that sort of thing); we just didn’t get along. It also didn’t help that I was living there during one of the harshest winters they had had in a few years. I’m trying not to take that personally. But I missed the sun in Alabama and, unbelievably, the heat (I know — I’m shocked, too). Mainly, I missed my family.
Turns out, I’m the small town girl that doesn’t want to take that midnight train going anywhere. The things you learn about yourself when you move off to the frozen tundra.
I always had these big goals, things I wanted to do. And I didn’t care where I had to go to accomplish them. Honestly, after my mother died, I was somewhat eager to leave Tuscaloosa. Too many memories. As it happens, though, I am quite the nostalgic type. I like the memories; even though many of them are painful, that does not mean they are bad. Over time, I have gained the ability to focus on the good parts, with only a nod of acknowledgement toward the sad, like sunshine overtaking a cloudy day.
But, back to the point. Family. I am blessed with a lot of family. My dad is one of 13 siblings, and I believe my mom had 17 (all but one were half-siblings from both mother and father; otherwise, I would feel really sorry for my grandmother). I have cousins coming out of my ears. In fact, my dad informed me just the other day that he is now a great-great uncle, and he is only in his sixties.
And this isn’t even counting the family I adopted. Before moving to West Lafayette, I had started graduate school at the University of Alabama. I made lifelong friends that spring. After all, we were in the trenches together: we all took statistics that semester. *insert screaming emoji*
Along the way, we have added a few new members to our group (the adoptees, as we call them). We have claimed these significant others and law students as our own, as they perfectly fit our kind of weird. I am very happy to say that most of us still get together and keep up with each other. Mostly, this involves food and Cards Against Humanity. Always Cards Against Humanity.
TL;DR version: my family is huge and patched together like one of my Aunt Kay’s beautiful, home-sewn quilts.
And in the past two years, I have added to it.
NO, NOT LIKE THIS
Time for some updates:
- I moved back to Alabama to work on my thesis long-distance.
- I was hired as an instructor at my alma mater.
- I got engaged and will be getting married this October!
- My fiance and I adopted two fur babies (one last May and one this April).
Meet Crowley (big kitty) and Remy (itty bitty kitty).
- I FINISHED MY THESIS AND GRADUATED WITH MY MASTER’S DEGREE.
- Did I mention I finished my thesis?
- I also graduated with my Master’s degree. Did I list that one yet? Because I finished my thesis. And I graduated with my Master’s degree. After finishing my thesis. I may or may not be hugging my diploma and crying right now.
In the past two years, I have put down some major roots and achieved some pretty big goals (did I mention I finished my thesis?). I’m not done yet. I’ll eventually go for the big PhD, but only after I’ve had some time to get over the trauma of dealing with a thesis. For now, I am happy where I am — back home, great job, wonderful fiance and family. I’m looking toward the future now, instead of racing to it.
As for the blog, well, we will have to see how it goes. I’m no longer a “Southerner pursuing higher education in Indiana,” but as an eternal ‘Bama girl and a recent Purdue graduate, I will always be a Bama Boilermaker.
Roll Tide and Boiler Up! But mostly Roll Tide; Alabama is in my blood. After all, my relatives have populated 75% of the state.