November was a little busier than I anticipated – more time spent in the city than I expected, and a lot more family time than I thought with different family members coming in early and staying later than normal during Thanksgiving. I’m writing this from New York now (to continue on the 2016 travel tour) and starting to think about what I need to do this month to (first of all, survive the rest of this year, and also) start 2017 off on the right foot! Read more…
When I moved to Nashville two years ago, I thought I had found the place I was going to land and set up my adult life. I had friends around me, all the music I could ever want, and a good job. The first month was pretty tumultuous and saw me clamoring to move back to Virginia, to try to take it all back, but I made the best of it and soldiered on for a few more rough months, before finally landing a dream job and spending a lot of time on the go, enjoying the best of Music City.
I think I really did take advantage of it – there’s not a lot I felt I missed out on (except for sleep.) The second year, things started to become a bit more clear, though – like maybe Nashville wasn’t the last stop on my journey after all. The pace, the number of hours I had to work in order to afford an apartment I had no business moving to in the first place, and the desire to see friends whose schedules never meshed (because they were also running around the city to afford a life that is becoming unsustainable for the artists and young professionals that have given Nashville its soul) – I started to second guess the plan. The last straw came on a visit home when I saw how exhausted my mom was – as a third shift nursing home nurse, she was also caring for my grandparents alone, running them to doctors appointments during the daytime and trying to sleep on their couch between helping with making meals or getting my grandma to the bathroom. It felt irresponsible to not help out, since I don’t have a job that ties me down to a particular location.
For a few years, Dani and I had been talking about living together and last fall, it got super serious, finally deciding to move to Chicago when she finished her degree. We’ve both lived away from home for a few years, and we desperately miss the midwestern culture we’ve abandoned, so it’s time to come closer to home. I decided that once my Nashville lease was up, it was time to move home for a few months to help out where I can, and start saving and planning for moving to Chicago.
I love Nashville, and it will always have a piece of my heart. I learned a lot, I changed a lot, and I’m grateful for the time I spent there. This is my goodbye to the beautiful Nashville skyline – I’ll see you later, Batman.
At the beginning of the year, I set one goal for myself: that I was going to find a new job and move out of Virginia. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, to be honest. I had been applying for jobs for over a year already, and had only gotten one interview. I also wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to move, so a lot of those applications were sort of half-hearted. So in March when Sixx moved to Nashville, it helped me to focus my search on one city and by the end of the summer, here I was.
I had a dream and a plan, and I broadcast it so publicly that I had to make it happen. It was too big to fail.
It wasn’t easy and there have definitely been some major potholes along the way, but I’m starting to really buy into all the dream it/do it manifestation stuff, because it’s really happening for me now. (I say this all very cautiously, because I’m a very superstitious person and I remain convinced that everything will fall apart at any minute 😉 but I think the positivity thing is paying off. Being positive, deciding to be happy, and setting achievable goals are all helping me continue the forward motion I’m on and inspiring me to keep planning and making a push to have the life I want for myself.
Am I struggling right now? Yeah, a little. But I decide every morning now to be happy and make the best of my day, and that helps too.
You should set goals that are Too Big To Fail, too. Find an accountability partner (hayyyy, Athena!). Force yourself to donate $1 for every time you say something mean about someone. Apply it to anything: a fitness goal, finding a new job, finances, moving to your dream city. When you find something that sets your heart on fire, you’re able to follow through and execute your dreams.
And if banks are too big to fail, you sure as hell are too.
I feel like I didn’t write very much about my summer other than this: it has been crazy. While preparing a travel photo blog post for The Hudsucker, I thought I’d share a little more over here about what’s been going on since I said so long, astoria!
The last update saw me going back to Charlottesville from Michigan. I spent most of that time packing and preparing for a trip to Nashville, where I filled Sixx’s room with bags and boxes of my stuff, ate a lot of sub-par burgers, and went to the Summer NAMM trade show. We also enjoyed an alumni networking event thrown by my college, and followed that up with a more “unofficial” afterparty.
After that I headed back to Charlottesville for one last week of work, my favorite restaurants, and a last chance to do some of the things I’d always meant to get around to.
Finally, I “moved” over to Nashville. I slept on my friend’s couch, cuddled with her cat while she went to work, and in one weekend, went to more shows than I did in my entire tenure as a Charlottesvillian.
Then after that, I wasn’t even settled in to my apartment, I packed up my dirty clothes and headed to the family condo for vacation in Sevierville County, Tennessee. I was grateful for free laundry, of course for family time, and doing fun favorite activities and new experiences. The Rocky Top Wine Trail has some of the best wine I’ve ever tasted, and we tend to do this trail at least twice every trip. (We really like wine.) This time, we also found a great deal on a zipline/horesback riding package. To be honest, the horeseback riding was scarier than the zipline because it had been raining and the horses were sliding all over the trail. We also got a vacation pass for one of the go-kart tracks, and the girls loved that. Heck, I did too – but every time I turn on to the gravel parking lot at work, I’m tempted to spin my car around the way we did on those tracks! I’m glad we had some fun new experiences – and at the end of the week, I inherited all the leftovers. There are currently 10 pounds of ground beef, 5 pounds of pulled pork, and a full pan of homemade lasagna in my freezer. I’m not complaining of course – but do you know how much food that is?!
I’ve had a great, crazy, busy summer. But I’m ready to get back into a routine. Start working out again. Unpack, organize, and maybe get some furniture in my house (that’s another post all in itself….)
I just finished (and loved) If I Stay and Paper Towns – what other suggestions do you have for treehouse reading?
The last day at my job was July 29, and that evening I cleaned out my desk and drove on over to sleep on my friend’s couch for a few days before I could move in to my own place. August 1, I finally got the keys, and solo, I emptied carloads into my third-floor walkup. Obviously I was prepared for that too, since it was my choice to live on the third floor alone and all that. I did not really expect, though, that after living there for three days, someone would try to break in to the office (um, SCARY!) or that my internet/cable installation would be delayed by a week (and it’s actually been installed now for 9 days and I still don’t have cable), or that while my internet was down and I was away on vacation, that my blog would crash. (And that I’d have no idea until I got back from vacation, late at night, before the first day at the new job.)
While that was happening, a friend passed away pretty tragically (it’s always tragic though, I suppose) and the death of Robin Williams is effecting me deeply as well which makes me feel pretty stupid, but it is what it is.
So anyway. Things have been just CRAZY. But now that my blog is mostly restored, I’ll be pushing out the scheduled posts that were missed, and I can’t wait to start writing about my new life here in Nashville!