Nashville: One Year

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nashville - one year

I can’t believe I never wrote this, okay I can. I hesitated. I started and then I deleted. I started again. Then I deleted again. It’s now been a year and three months. Am I ready to jump in to what the first year was like yet?

I’ll give it a shot.

Disclaimer: This isn’t actually a post about Nashville, it’s a post about me and what I have learned about myself in the past year of living here.

My first year in Nashville was a mix of findings, feelings, and emotions. I came here with a pretty specific kind of life in mind. Wide open spaces, people that loved and rode horses, country music, huge trucks, country guys like the ones you see in movies and well, everything you think about when you listen to a country song. Bonfires, dancing in dirt by the light of pick up trucks, lots of laughing and love and southern drawls.

Sue me, I was living in a romantic dream of pop country songs when I came here. Unfortunately, when it came to those dreams, Nashville did not deliver. I’d love to say that I got over it real quick and figured out what else was here, but instead I spent a lot of time wondering what the heck I was doing. I didn’t want to move home really, but I wondered if there was somewhere a little better, a little closer to the movie montage, country soundtrack my idealized dreams were.

While that inner struggle was happening I made some friends, I found a couple of people that were willing to go to a line dancing bar about once a month, I found people that loved taking pictures of where they lived and finding new spots to explore, I found a couple of jobs, and I found myself with a lot of time alone. My unhappiness and frustration got worst before it got better and in that I finally really learned the lesson I hadn’t been getting for years: Happiness is not solely decided by where I live. Nashville was not my knight in shining armor waiting ready on gallant stead to sweep me away from my dissatisfaction with myself. I did not leave the things I did not like about myself in San Diego or in Portland, they came with me, somehow they fit in between me and the cracks and crevices between all that I owned in my car.

So what then? Looking back I think I bounced my way through the stages of grief. It wasn’t just that Nashville was completely different than what I had wanted it to be, it was mostly that I was not magically altered into what and who I wanted to be when I moved here.

I came to a place of anger, frustration, sadness, and sometimes tiny moments of content when driving through a really gorgeous place. I felt like a hot mess. That place wasn’t new for me, I’d been there before, in San Diego, in Portland, in San Diego again, in Portland again…back one more time to San Diego, and then Nashville. I don’t know if I’ve just gotten a little more tired in my old age or I’m finally ready to start being more financially stable, but I knew this time that moving wasn’t an option (or the answer). The only way out of the hot mess of emotions was through. And I needed help that I hadn’t been able to find before.

Almost exactly twelve months after I moved here I started seeing a counselor. It has been the best decision I have made. While I haven’t given Nashville much credit for a lot of things I will give it credit here, it was the place I found a counselor that worked, it was the place I was ready to really start doing some deeper work, and it was the place I stopped paused in running from myself.

So where am I at now with Nashville? Well, I’m exploring again, I’m accepting that stores and fancy food places are not for me but that museums, parks and events are. I’m blogging for a local real estate company about a town just a few minutes north of where I live. Another thing to credit to Nashville, it was here that I started getting paid to write and explore!

I’m working on strengthening friendships and going to events that will put me around people in similar situations with similar intentions and goals and I’m doing my best to see the good and accept the rest.

I’ve gone home a few times since I moved, and while I miss it like crazy and In Cahoots makes me consider moving back home, I still have a lot of work to do here, and while I know that no place was going to make me happy, I do wonder if maybe the distance gave me the room I needed to start making some changes, and facing what I had tried to squash for so long.

I’m not yet convinced that Nashville is the place where I will finally settle down, but it’s where I am at for now. And if/when I leave, it won’t be running.


Gentry Farms

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos from different adventures. At the beginning of the month I got my pumpkin patch time on at Gentry Farms in Franklin. Not only that but I got to write a little bit about it for a different blog that hired me. Exciting stuff right?!

I didn’t end up buying a pumpkin when I went, but my friend and I successfully got lost in the corn maze and we at a good amount of the cheap and delicious treats they had for sale.

I also found myself not really wanting to do much editing to my photos. I’m calling that a huge win.


Williamson County Fair

Monday, August 17, 2015






Williamson County Fair. What it lacks in size it makes up with charm.


The Good In Tennessee

Thursday, August 13, 2015


The last time I posted about Nashville it was informative but probably not all that positive, and then last week I talked about finding the beauty in where I am as if it’s where I’m staying forever… so here’s to that.

The good in Tennessee.

– People are pretty nice here, a lot of them aren’t locals but I think a lot of us that have come from non-southern locations are doing our best to keep southern hospitality. It probably doesn’t look quite the same, but we’re trying.

– BBQ. Delicious. Hot Chicken. Oh so good. So, before I go on and on, the food. The food is good (and heavy) here.

– You can get to farms and small towns in a short drive. I can find views of horses and farms in just about any direction 30+ minutes tops.

– There is water! San Diego is still in a drought even though they had some rain, but here I don’t have to worry about the length of my shower, I don’t have to worry about watering a lawn (I don’t have a lawn but if I did…), I can wash my dishes and a load of laundry and even shower if I want at the same time without worry about getting charged (I might be worrying about the temperature of the water at that point though.)

– I drove behind a tractor pulling a HUGE load of hay! I was five minutes from my house!

– The servers at Waffle House. I just experienced that experience. Special is the word I have for the stories I heard in a 45 minute span. It was also 2am. Prime Waffle House time I think.

– Being that we are mostly a group of people from other places we get that it’s hard to go somewhere new and not know too many people. I would say it’s definitely easier to make friends here and get people to do things than it was when I moved to Portland.

– Summer nights, even when there’s no plans. Sitting on my balcony just listening to the sounds, wrapped in the humid air. I didn’t think that would be a huge positive on my list, but here I am, a little in love.

– Luke Bryan lives here… and I’ve seen him. I’ve even said hi, and handed him a menu. Once I even put a plate of food down at his table… (did you think of Mean Girls? I did.)  Which was listed before, but I’m listing it again.

– The gas here is significantly cheaper than San Diego. Or it was when I moved here and I just kept believing that’s true.

– Downtown Franklin during the holidays is absolutely charming and wonderful

– The old houses! Oh my goodness I could fall in love with these huge houses, mansions if you will. Colonnades, wrap around porches and long driveways! They are beautiful all year round, and in the snow, they were absolutely breathtaking.

– Back roads to just about anywhere I want to go. Yes, it will take me longer, but the views are so very worth it.

– Interlibrary Loan – if the 20 libraries in Nashville city don’t have it, they can request it from other cities and states!

I think that this is just the beginning, here’s to more posts like this.

To be continued…


No Longer My First Rodeo

Monday, July 27, 2015

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As a former vegetarian it is pretty something that I find myself looking forward to going to rodeos. Changing perspectives and shifting interests are just part of the deal in living I’m finding. Gotta try on different hats, or lipsticks or personalities before you find the ones that fits best for the moment.

Maybe 7 years from now I’ll roll my eyes at this time when I searched for rodeos to go to, looked at the horses and wanted to learn how to race around barrels, watch young men get thrown from large bulls. Right now though, right now I’m not rolling my eyes at all. At this stage, in this chapter, with this invisible cowboy hat and these real cowgirl boots, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the rodeo.

Maury County Rodeo was my second, but in some ways it was another first. Under the night sky I parked by trucks with horses tied outside their trailers. I walked around in the dirt watching families and packs of tweens and teens circling the food carts and then heading back to the packed stands. There was a feel to it, outside in the warm air, bugs hovering, smells of funnel cake and horse sweat.

I’m glad I went through my vegetarian stage, I’m glad I’m going though this possible phase. I have no clue what my perspective will be in five years, but I know for now, I love the rodeo.


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