I don’t know where to start with this, I promised myself that this would be a positive space but I also promised myself that this would be an honest space. I want you to know from the beginning of this post that a great many good things have happened in my move here, I also want you to know that Nashville is nothing like I dreamed it would be. To those of you who are looking to move here for the country music scene I would say look elsewhere. (Or maybe look in different place than I have?) I feel silly in admitting that I was looking for a country mecca with a city close by, but it’s true. I was looking for big trucks, country in many bars and boots… all the boots.
It’s hard to write this, because there are many good things about Nashville. It’s a city that just keeps growing (bad for traffic, good for jobs and diversity), it’s creative and collaborative, there are many, many opportunities for music here. I think it still is the country music capital even though many try to deny or drop the “country” from the title. People still travel here far and wide to kick off their country careers and yet…
What is definitely prevalent here is a fashion and foodie scene. I’m seeing things that were trending in Portland, Oregon three years ago making it big here now. (Man buns anyone) I loved Portland for what it was when I was there, but I also left for a reason. Besides gourmet/artisan/creative donuts and pizza I really am not a foodie (and we don’t yet have creative donuts here). I like Chipotle, sometimes Panera, and other basic things. I don’t want to eat at restaurants that serve foofy things at high prices. Give me normal green beans or chicken or beef or potatoes, please go easy on the cheese mixed in to everything, please go easy on the things I can’t pronounce. I am adventurous when it comes to taking road trips and looking for good places to take pictures but when it comes to food, no thanks. I’ll save myself the stomach ache. The good news is that I have finally given myself permission to not care about all the restaurants here, they have come off my list of places to go try.
Nashville city proper is a great place for many young people. I see the charm, I see why people boast about how great it is here, I totally get it. There are cute shops and so much choice with food and local beer and different coffee shops, but like I said, all that makes me feel sort of like I’m living in Portland again, with more humidity.
I recently was talking to a client while on a job and she told me that it could take a couple years to really settle in, that she had moved out here from California and it took a good chunk of time to adjust. I took this as good news. I had been hard on myself up until that point wondering why I hadn’t found my place and why I was still feeling lonely. Time… it just takes time.
I admit that I am lonely and miss the comfort of home. While I do have friends out here they aren’t really ones I can meet up with every Monday night at the local bar or talk about anything and everything with…yet. I had at least a couple friends in San Diego that have known me for years and who don’t think I’m all that wild or foul mouthed… here things at least pretend to be a little more proper and I’m still figuring out where I fit in to that. Up until Sunday I didn’t think I had anyone to go try and find rodeos or country bars with… I figured I would have to go it alone and sometimes that kind of task is too daunting. I will drive a lot of places by myself, I will vacation by myself, but go to a bar alone, I have to already be out and with friends and then leave them, and even then, the bar has to have a good place to dance… preferably a bar top. I have odd standards at times, I know.
I have a group of creative friends to adventure with, I recently found that one of the group also came here for country so her and I are going country exploring… we are determined. I have a Target pretty close to my house, it hasn’t been very hard for me to find work, I have a schedule that falls pretty in line with what I thought I wanted, I have an opportunity to do exactly what I thought I wanted to do at one of my jobs (the jury is still out on if I will continue to want to do it, but it is a huge learning opportunity and it’s a heavily supported position, so I have definitely won there) and I get to drive by horses and cows and see how another state operates. I can take longer showers because we are definitely not in a drought here, my room is humongous and the library is very close so I have a plethora of book choices at all times, there is fried chicken here and not just KFC, there is hot chicken here which I dare to try every once in a while and the side roads are gorgeous for a sunny afternoon drive.
All in all, six months in is a little rough around the edges. I’m hopeful though. Moving to Nashville has been and continues to be a huge learning experience. I have been learning about myself, I have been learning how to better take care of myself, I have been learning more about what I do and don’t want, I have been meeting interesting people and I still have at least six months to fall in love with this place. Six months of warmer weather and completely new experiences. There are still so many things to do, and places to see. Crossing fingers and toes that I find a little more of what I’m looking for.