Leaving Home: Day 1

Well, today was the day. I, thanks to the help of my sister and our two teenagers, got my car packed up and started my drive to grad school and Chicago. The drive was long and can be summed up in the below three parts.

Part One: The Crying and Leaving Home

(This part can also be called, I had to stop like three times in the morning because of how many times I had to pee.)

I left only twenty minutes after I had intended to, which is a record for me when moving. Usually, I end up leaving or arriving at least one to two hours later than planned, depending on the circumstances. Today’s circumstance was leaving the only home I’ve ever known for the first time in my life.

I’ve thought long and hard about my desire to break away from the confines of home and start living a life of my own. But that didn’t make leaving any easier. I had a going away party, last night, and everyone came. Most everyone, at least. And it was great. I couldn’t help but think I was the world’s worst host. There were just so many people there, and I didn’t know how to spread myself out evenly. But it was great.

After everyone left, I cried for the first time. It’s really rough leaving the people you love: your family, your coworkers, your friends, and the person you’ve been dating for the last ten months. I had already said goodbye to a few people before last night, but it all just hit me after everyone left my party. But it came even worse when I left my mom, sister, the teenagers, and my nephews this morning. As much as I’m excited, knowing that I won’t see them for, at least) four months, is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.

I got over the crying before I even got out of town, but I felt it coming on again every time I sang a slightly emotional song on the radio. I can’t believe this isn’t just a trip; I’m not going back there. What a weird feeling.

Part Two: Hazard Lights and Treacherous Rain

(Also called: the time Nebraska almost killed me)

Before I even left, everyone who had ever driven through Nebraska implored me to stay away from sleeping in that state over night. I’m sure there isn’t anything ornately wrong with Nebraska, but I kept that in mind when deciding how I was going to break my trip up. Thus, I decided to brave the entire state of Nebraska in one day and spend the night in Iowa.

Nebraska, as described and predicted, was mostly boring. I’m sure I’ve driven through Nebraska before, but probably not in my adult life or any time recently. Maybe when I was twelve. Let me tell you, though, it didn’t disappoint. It was just as boring as everyone said it’d be.

That was, until the rain started. Somewhere a few hours into Nebraska, the skies just opened up and took a shit on my day. I’m not talking about your garden-variety, everyday rain. This was the kind of rain that makes driving nearly impossible. There was thunder. There was lightning. And there was very little visibility going forward, for at least one, if not two, hours.

Thankfully, I saw two very smart people from Canada. (I’ve never actually seen plates from Canada before but today I saw Alberta and Nova Scotia, which was super cool) They put on their hazard lights, not because they intended to go slow, though we all were, but so we could see each other better. Now, after my roommate (former/forever/etc) got in a horrendous accident comma the rain, I can’t be too careful. That and I hate driving in heavy rain. Aside from those crazy people in Nebraska, I think everyone feels the same as I do about it.

Fortunately, it was smooth sailing after the rain, and then, suddenly I was in Iowa under a hanging sign above the interstate. That was weird, too.

Part Three: I Hate Driving In The Dark and Also Humidity

(Also called: how much longer until I get to this goddam hotel, already?)

It was already starting to get dark when I finally got into Iowa. I mean, I still had a good hour of dimming sunlight, but you get my drift. Immediately upon entering Iowa, it was like the cops were out in full force, but I was keeping it to the speed plus no more than two or three for safety purposes. See, when you’re from Colorado like me, you tend to get pulled over when it’s not quite necessary.

I wasn’t pulled over, thankfully, and, knock on wood, I won’t be pulled over tomorrow. (I just knocked on the wood, so we’re good) Traffic was sparse in some areas and dense in others, but it was the smoothest part of the ride, I think. I made one stop at a rest stop, where I learned about the humidity situation. It hit me like a hug from the smelly kid in class who you don’t want to touch you (or near you for that matter)

I am obviously moving to Chicago and was aware that humidity was about to be a thing in my life, but damn. I was not prepared. The good news is, I don’t think I have to use lotion anymore. By the time I got to this rest stop, my sister and mom were wondering where I was, so I gave them the update. Then I made a quick restroom stop and powered through the rest of the drive, until I made it to West Des Moines.

I am staying at a hotel I found on hotels.com, which had a decent deal for like $70 for the night. Couldn’t beat that, so I jumped on it. Except, it’s in this weird, super dark part of town, and I am not going back outside until the lights are back on. I fear for my packed car and hope that no one has the balls to brave the darkness that is the back of the hotel to steal from me. (I need it all)

Additionally, my hotel room is in the back but also on the other side of a Mexican restaurant that isn’t open, which is really annoying because I’m hungry. Yes, I know it’s Sunday and thankfully Domino’s delivers, but damn. I could go for a well made margarita, right now. That’d put me to sleep.

What I’m saying is this hotel and this area is weird. And also hella scary. I can’t wait to start the drive tomorrow, get to my apartment, and start getting settled into my new life. Hopefully, it’ll be amazing.

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