Seven years ago today I became an official resident of Nashville. I moved into my little apartment with only a bed, a TV, a stereo, 2,000 CDs, an air mattress and a lawn chair. It was the scariest and most exciting thing I had ever done. I had no job. I knew no one. I had enough money to live for about 2 months. The first few days were exciting. The next couple of months were terrible. Then I started to make friends. I had a job that was paying the bills nicely. I went out more–which is good since my apartment was way more ghetto then I had noticed moving in and the shootings and drug busts seemed to happen in the late evening and were all cleaned up by the time I got home.
I fell madly in love, not with a person, but with my city. The place I had decided to make my home felt more like my home then any place I had ever lived. The first time I flew back to L.A. I was almost sick at the thought of leaving. I remember being at the Cleveland airport waiting for my connecting flight and the gate next to mine was a flight to Nashville and I just wanted to get on it and go home! I missed my L.A. friends and my mom terribly….but it simply wasn’t home any more.
In the past 7 years I have laughed more and cried more and learned more then in the 26 years before. I have met the most amazing people. I have made the most wonderful friends. I have stayed in touch with my L.A. friends (something I’m quite proud of!) and have even shown them the wonders of Nashville and they too, have quite a crush on this city of mine. I am still dumbstruck at the natural beauty of this area.
I love the creativity that seems to permeate the air. I love the fact that on Sundays, it feels like a very small town, it’s so quiet and slow and lovely. I love the smell right after a big thunderstorm. I love the smell of the air when you cross the state lines (the air in Tennessee is just sweeter…I don’t know why!) I love that I can eat corn nuggets at a meat and three and thai food on the same day. I love sitting in Centennial park and reading. I love seeing indie movies at the Belcourt and drinking fair trade coffee at Fido. I love knowing that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable and that sushi is great fried. I love to sit on the patio at Jackson’s and drink vodka tonics with my friends AND my dog. I love the country boys in pick-ups and the rocker boys in black. I love popsicles from Las Paletas and sweet potato fries from Bobbie’s Dairy Dip. I love that I “rescued” all three of my pets…..but I know that they actually rescued me. I love Thirsty Thursday at Greer Stadium. I love being able to hear the cannon when the Titans score a touchdown. I love hearing a song on the radio and know that the artist was at the table next to me the night before. I love being an 8 hour drive away from Chicago. I love being a half hour drive from the middle of nowhere. I love tomatoes in late July and shephard’s pie at Family Wash in late January. I love being able to walk into Corner Bar and have my drink ready for me before I sit down. I love that we now have a Sephora AND multiple places to get good fish tacos. I love pupusas at Las Americas and the accessories at Pangea. Really, the list goes on and on and on……
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years. Somedays it feels like I just got here and other days it feels like I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve had a pretty transient life, but I now know that I have found my home and that is a very re-assuring fact.