So I’ve been in Nashville for a year and I’ve managed to learn a few things…
1. The smallest amount of precipitation sends the entire city into a panic.
This is not an exaggeration. We had less than an inch of snow and every major highway into the city was shut down. Schools all closed, government offices closed, news stations were urging people to stay in their homes unless it was absolutely unavoidable…I went to Target and tried on shoes. Had the whole place to myself.
2. It’s awkward when your best friend in the state thinks of you as “that new girl who’s around sometimes.”
When you don’t know anyone in a brand new place, your first friend is automatically your best friend because they’re your only friend. For a while there, I’m pretty sure my best friend in TN didn’t know my first name.
3. It’s nearly impossible not to be insecure in your first big kid job.
I know how to do my job and I do it well, but I can’t keep track of how many times I let others fill me with doubt. I like to make people happy and I try to take others’ views into consideration, but sometimes people just suck. They’ll tear you down, throw you under the bus, manipulate you – and for no good reason. My default setting is to believe that everyone is wonderful. It’ll knock the wind out of you when you realize that isn’t always true.
4. Loneliness is an awful feeling.
I don’t have a very good concept of time or distance so I’ve never been homesick or missed certain individuals to any extreme extent. It offends people at times, giving them the impression that I don’t care about them which isn’t at all true. I’m just very confident in the fact that I have people who love me. I don’t need to constantly be in touch with them to remember that.
However, I’ve discovered that I very much undervalued the physical presence of people who know me. It’s intimidating to be in a world where no one knows anything about you. It sounds freeing initially, having the ability to be whoever you want. But I found it slightly terrifying. I think I feared that if I didn’t have people around me who could remind me of who I am, that I might forget myself. Turns out that’s not so bad – there were pieces of me that I needed to let go of.
5. Dogs don’t do well on wood floors.
For the second half of last year, I lived in a house that had wood flooring at the bottom of the stairs. In this house, my awesome dog would develop a severe limp about every two weeks. I eventually figured out that the two were related. He’d go plummeting down the stairs, hit the wood floor and BOOM, spread eagle.
This also revealed that I am certain to be a terrible parent. Not once did I take my poor dog to the vet to make sure he was ok. My philosophy was to wait it out. I wasn’t about to pay for a vet to tell me he pulled a muscle. So I waited out the 2-3 weeks of his barely being able to walk, confident that he’d be fine. So far so good.
6. My dad is not invincible.
If you read my post on figleaf back in July, you know that my dad hit a deer on his motorcycle that summer. This was the most difficult time of my life. I was physically sick and emotionally, a complete wreck. I wanted so much to be with him, but I didn’t go home. I still don’t know if it was over-rationalization, fear or if I was just a bad daughter in the moment.
He walked away with wicked raspberries and a concussion that made him sound very much like Dori the fish, but was otherwise fine.
7. I’m more country than most people in Nashville.
There are a few buzz words that get tossed around down here: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, pickup truck, fishin’, beer, honky tonk, cutoff jeans, cowboy boots, redneck, yeehaw, the list goes on. However, I’ve found that most of these individuals have no idea what I mean when I talk about mudding, a 154 muley, or 10′ bonfires. (By the way, anything less than 5 feet tall is a campfire. Not a bonfire.)
8. People drive big trucks for absolutely no reason.
I just don’t really get this one.
9. It’s very unlikely that I’ll marry Dierks Bentley or Josh Turner.
This one had me pretty upset for a while. I suppose they’re both a bit old for me anyway and very much unavailable. Still, I had hoped.
10. I belong here (at the moment).
Nashville is an amazing city. There’s incredible talent around every corner, good old southern hospitality, and the food… the food.
All around, this is the change and challenge I needed. Whether it’s a forever city or a for now city, Nashvegas is perfect in the moment.