Making My Way

Here I am again. Sharing my journey to Florida. Thankfully, day 2 and 3 have been way less eventful as the first night. 

Day 2: After waking up and thanking every lucky star that I’ve collected, we set back out on the ole dusty roads of Texas. We met up with my brothers girlfriend in San Antonio at a unique restaurant that allows dogs for a well needed break (aka a well needed beer) and let Callie run around. After piling back in, Callie decided she wanted to sit in the front…

I called this her look out post. She would wake up from naps in the back seat and come up to her “post”. Once she decided all was clear, she’d go back to laying down or chewing her bone. 

We ended the night by stopping in Lafayette, Louisiana. After getting lost in numerous parking lots, I found the hotel and demanded a bed. One upside to this day was that I checked my UF email and saw that my program coordinator had emailed me the list of classes I needed to register for. So, I scavenged UF’s (many) student websites and began the hunt for classes. After a few mental breakdowns and a few wrong clicks, I am now officially registered for my first semester as a grad student at the University of Florida 

Day 3: By the third day, I just craved to see that sign that said “welcome to Florida!”. The rain gods held out on us…until the last day. I think we went through one too many storms in a small period of time. Although, through the thick wall of rain I did see that sign I had been wanting to see. So much stress was lifted just to know I was at least in Florida now. 

Now here’s where more fun “Tillman luck” kicks in. Once I got to Tallahassee for the night (boo, go Gators), I couldn’t find my debit card. Come to find out, the drive thru lady back in Alabama never gave it back to me and I was too caught up in being a fat kid to realize it. Then began the fun process of cancelling it and having a new one sent. Thankfully my mom taught me well and I had pulled out cash before this long journey. At this point though, all I could do was laugh. I got into the hotel room and crashed as quick as possible. 

Yesterday, I drove the last 2 hours to Gainesville and got the keys to my very first place by myself. I think I laid in the middle of the living room for a solid 20 minutes decompressing before I could manage to be productive. All of my belongings were supposed to be delivered to uhaul that day but SURPRISE, they weren’t there. Let’s be honest, at this point you might as well not expect anything to go right the first try. 

But! I got my keys. I got my sisters boyfriend, my sister and I safely to Florida. I have my own place. I registered for classes. I’m officially a Florida Gator. I’m officially a graduate student. I’m making steps towards my dream. 

I look back over this drive and realize I could’ve very well lost my life very quickly. Although I get apprehensive about this new journey I’m taking on, I know that it’s the right one. I will do great things. Either be a part of it, or stay out of my way ✌🏼️