Most of you know that we recently moved from Nashville, TN to Fairhope, AL. It has been a long time since I’ve written a blog post so please bare with me as I try to get back into the groove of writing. T
That has to be the most appropriate word to describe how we felt leaving Nashville. Nashville was such a magical place for us. For me, personally, my story of how I came to Nashville is so divine and incredible. If you’re new to my journey I’ll give you a quick synopsis of how it all happened.
In 2011, I was living in Orlando and was going through a breakup (spoiler alert: all good stories begin with heartbreak). This lead to my decision to step away from photography, move to Nashville and pursue music. I had ONE friend living there (thank God for you, Loswhit), but I had no fear of diving headfirst into a new adventure. I’m a 7 on the enneagram and although I didn’t know this then, it is hilarious to look back and see how many times I ran from pain into the arms of adventure. I had been living a sort of vagabond life up until this point, earning the nickname “gypsy girl” from my friends. I was accustomed to sleeping on couches and floors with really no permanence in any part of my life. The gypsy in me decided within a 24hr period to move to Nashville even though I’d never been, had no job or home and only one friend. So I packed up my suitcase-life, my traveling pup Topanga, and started the 10-hour drive. The first few nights I slept in my car. Then my one and only Nashville friend Los, used his twitter superpowers and lined up house-sitting gigs back to back for me and this was how I lived for a good month or 2! So I lived for free, watered plants, fed dogs, sat houses. I went to a show one night by myself and saw a girl singing on stage that I thought for SURE I knew (I didn’t). I walked up to her and pretty much made a fool of myself trying to tell her how we knew each other when we really didn’t. We ended up talking for a good part of the night when she found out I didn’t have a house to live in. She said she was moving that weekend into a huge house with 4 other people and she was sure “Carl” wouldn’t mind if I moved in too!
This is how my life began in Nashville. My first friends. The girl I met was SINCLAIR who quickly became my sister. I lived in a big house with several other people including the gracious Carl that didn’t even blink an eye when Sinclair brought me over and proposed yet another roommate. I have some of the fondest memories living in this house. We did a thing every Sunday that we called Sunday Funday where we would invite anyone and everyone over to our house, have a huge potluck and open mic all night. These nights were pure magic – sitting on the floor listening to artist after artist sing and play original music. It was the Nashville dream. I will never forget it. It was the first time I had ever shared my music in a live and intimate setting and these people were so supportive, so receptive. After a few weeks of this, we were requesting each other’s songs and my friends would sing along with the words of the music I had written about my own heartache. I’ve always found that writing music is a healing practice, but boy, releasing it out into the universe and watching others relate to it is a whole new level of healing and abundance that I can’t even quite explain.
Sweet Carl was friends with a guy who owned The National Underground (a bar downtown) that needed waitresses. I had never been a waitress or a bartender before and yet I somehow did both. The job wasn’t my favorite job I’ve ever had but it’s the place where I met Paul. But that’s another magical memory I’m sure I’ll share in a blog post on another day.
Nashville is where I made life-long best friends that became family. It’s where I met my husband, fell in love, got married and had my 2 beautiful babies. I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this now with tears streaming down my face.
I never thought I’d live in Alabama.
I’ve lived in Virginia, Georgia, California, Florida and Tennessee and not once did I ever believe I’d end up here. But here I am, and let me tell you why.
Paul and I are both self-employed. I’m a photographer and he’s an audio engineer. We both worked our butts off in Nashville. It seemed that no matter how hard we worked or how far out we moved from the city we could never buy a house. We were stuck. Financially, we needed more freedom. As the girls got bigger I realized that it wasn’t fair for them to be so far from family. Although we had so many amazing friends and the girls were thriving – I could see a difference in them whenever we would visit family. Our marriage had taken the back burner during all of this and we needed the time and the money to be able to focus on us. We wanted to grow our family but not before getting our marriage back on track.
I finally realized that all of this was leading up to one decision. A decision that would feel like a sacrifice but one I was more than willing to make. We needed to move closer to family and to a community that was more affordable so we could finally buy a house, have childcare, go to therapy and grow our family.
So here we are! Now that I’ve been here I realize that it wasn’t as much of a sacrifice as I thought. Do I miss Nashville? Every single day. Do I love it here? I really do.
I love our home, I love living close to family and having them close for celebrations, family dinners, holidays and yes free childcare! My mother-in-law was so happy about our move that she so graciously has been keeping the girls overnight once a week! That’s one night a week with no bedtime schedule and one morning a week at a slower pace. It means more time for Paul and I to work on us. I love living close to the beach, I love living close to my sis-in-law so we can let the cousins play, talk about life and marriage and motherhood and just spend time with one another. I love the slower pace of living.
Looking back at my life, it’s crazy to say that moving to Alabama was the scariest decision of my life; scarier than flying to California to work and live with a bunch of strangers (my first time ever on a plane), couch-hopping, sleeping in my car in a new city, and sharing my heartbreak through music. Moving here was terrifying. I left all of my best friends, my clients, my memories…my life.
I’m so proud of myself. For the first time, I wasn’t running away from something but I was running to something; running to a better marriage, a more fulfilling life for my kids, a closer relationship with family and a challenge in my career.
I know that moving here isn’t the end. It’s just the start of a new chapter and I cannot wait to see every page unfold.
I will be sharing photos of our house on my next blog post so be on the lookout! I’m going through room by room to decorate and it is going to be so much fun! For now, here are some photos of us getting settled in our empty, undecorated house.
If there’s any part of my story that you’re curious about – let me know! I’m an open book and loving sharing especially if I can encourage someone else.