At this point in my life I have some huge decisions to make. I have been offered two opportunities to relocate with the hospital that I am currently working for. One is in Tallahassee Florida and the other in Orlando. This week, my husband and I flew to Orlando to check out both cities as well as meet my potential new employers. Dreaming of warm weather and sunshine, the first thing I packed was my running shoes. Visions of running down a trail framed in ancient, crooked oak trees dripping with Spanish moss made me giddy. So off we went on our new adventure. We arrived at St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport at around midnight Tuesday. We stepped out of the airport into a shocking, wind nipping 30 something degree cold that burst my happy, sunshiney bubble. We ended up at Denny's at 1:00am due to an unusual hankering for pancakes. Our first impression of the people of St. Petersburg was an attractive blonde lady of 44 (she announced her age to everyone in the restaurant) who was extremely intoxicated. She sat at her table with an equally attractive male companion singing an excruciatingly horrible rendition of Landslide and in between lyrics announcing how badly the world had treated her. Meanwhile, as we ate our pancakes, which were sinfully delicious, in walks an attractive younger brunette in her 20's with her male companion. She too was extremely intoxicated. She sat down in her booth and proceeded to talk her most vulgar profanity as loud as she could without quite yelling it. My hubby and I felt it was time to leave quickly and quietly for the makings of a big, attention seeking, drunken cat fight was in the works.
The next day (Wednesday) we woke to discover from the morning news that an unusual cold front had moved into Florida, low of 30's with the high only in the 50's. Bummer. So off we went to Orlando to meet my first potential new employer. She was a lovely, small lady with the most beautiful Spanish accent. I believe we would work very well together. After the interview we drove around. We were quite confused with Orlando. Orlando was so large that we never figured out where we were at or got a bearing on where we would like to live before we had to leave. Our 'views' of Orlando were not good.
Mike had made plans to meet his daughter, her boyfriend and his little girl for dinner in Lakeland. We had a nice dinner at Harry's and a wonderful time with Chelsea, Justin and Hannah. We asked if they would come and visit. Chelsea states "Why? There is nothing there." To which we inform, "Yes there is. There are hills...and um...curves, lots and lots of curves." Chelsea's 'view' of Missouri was not good. But alas, we had to leave for we had a four hour drive to Tallahassee. We ended up driving Hwy 98. Words for the traveling wise. Don't do that. We passed through towns that had city limit signs but no cross roads, no gas stations, no house, nothing. Don't know why they had a city limit sign. One of these cities was named Otter Creek. A city of otters perhaps? Along the way we saw lots of truck driving, mullet donning men (some possibly women) with bumper stickers that read 'bubba army' and pictures of confederate flags flying on the capital and 'to hell with the manatee's, save the redneck'. I believe that Hwy 98 is the Florida twilight zone. We spent that night in Chiefland. Our 'view' of that part of Florida was also not good.
The next day we arrived in Tallahassee. The town was beautiful. It was quaint and charming. The potential employer there was an attractive brunette with a southern accent. I believe that we would get along fine as well. I was educated by the Director of Business development (another beauty) about the town's local lingo. For instance, if a lady smiles at you, bats her eyes and says, "Bless your heart", what she really means is, 'You're dumber than a box of rocks'. Which made me very self conscious from that moment on, for all I could think about was my grandmother. As a kid, she used to say those words to me all the time. Our 'view' of Tallahassee was great.
We drove the interstate back to St. Petersburg, where my hubby, worried about finding a computer, ended up getting a room with one in it so he could take an online college class test before midnight. He barely made the cut off time. Then back to the airport on Friday at 5am. With the news that a warm up was on the way and going to be in the 70's. Bummer again.
With my discouragement at not getting to see and do all that I wanted to do in Florida, I arrived in Springfield trying to see it with 'fresh' eyes. I wanted to see it as if I had never been there before and was contemplating moving there. I have always lived in Missouri and I am so used to seeing my surroundings, that I don't really 'see' it anymore. Hubby dropped me off at the car so he could get to class and off I drove, 'seeing' my new surroundings. Five minutes after hubby dropped me off I had just pulled out from a stop sign when I came upon a police officer who immediately put on his lights and pulled me over. I asked "why?", and he stated that I was speeding. "I had just pulled out from that stop sign," I argued. "There is no way I was speeding." He gave me a ticket for speeding 42 in a 30 zone. Which was impossible. So I politely said to the ticket welding officer, "Bless your heart," and drove off. My 'new' view of Missouri was not panning out so well either.
We had spent so much time in the car and on the plane that I felt a 100 yrs old. We never once found the time or a trail to run on. So yesterday, we got out to do a run. I was so stoved up that it was torturous. We ran only 4 1/2 miles. I only started to feel better after mile 3. Then we got our new bikes out and rode them for only 6 miles. I felt much better afterwards. Sitting for that long of periods is very bad for the body. I felt as if I had totally decompensated.
I have some life changing decisions to make. All based on a not so broad of a view of all that is to be considered. As of yet, I am leaning toward Orlando due to the location and all that it has to offer, even though my 'views' on Orlando was not so good, I do not want to base my opinion on a very limited knowledge base.
I am feeling edgy. I need to find some quiet time to contemplate and meditate. I am feeling a very strong need to paint and write. This huge decision not only affects me, but my family. I need to get still so that I may 'see' my situation clearly and make the right decisions. These jobs may be more lucrative, but things that are material in nature are not the things that appeal to me. However, these jobs offer a promise of adventure, new opportunities, and who knows where the path may take us. I shall keep you posted. I do not want to make any decisions based on a very limited 'view' point.
Until then, may you 'see' your surroundings as if you had never 'seen' them before. And may your 'view' point never be limited!