I vaguely remember joking about moving to New York many times before I actually made the decision to do it. I like to refer to my years between the ages of 17-20 as the “lost years”, because that’s what I basically was during that time. I know that’s the typical time to be “lost”, but it’s really a terrible time. I made the wrong college decision, the wrong job decision, wrong major, wrong life, wrong boyfriend. It was all wrong. And now I’m still finishing up my degree years later, even though I’m not actually learning what I want to or need to be learning, because I’m getting all of that in real life.
During my freshman year, I was in a journalism class. I became pretty good friends with the guy I sat next to. He spent a lot of time making fun of me for rolling in late and being half-asleep nearly every day; I spent a lot of time making eyes at the senior on the other side of the room. I feel like the relationship I have with my guy friends often is more challenging than the one I have with my girl friends, because they’re not afraid to disagree with me and challenge me. I’m not afraid to get into an argument with them when they try to tell me who I am or what I’m capable of. So, when this particular friend told me he “didn’t see me” in New York, I became livid. I’m not sure what it was about me that led him to that conclusion, and it’s been too many years now for me to remember exactly.
This was the general attitude about me living in New York, though. Most people thought I couldn’t “make it”, and not even in a succeed-in-your-chosen-business kind of way. They thought that I personally would not be able to handle it. It wasn’t a supported decision, but that never stopped me. I moved to New York and I loved it. I still love it, nearly nine months after moving out. I learned more about myself, the life I wanted to live, and how to heal my old wounds better there than I ever could have imagined.
It didn’t stop me from dreaming about where I wanted to go next, though. When I moved to New York, I thought it was where I would be staying for quite some time. Two months in, I started to talk about moving to Nashville – a wildly out of character move, for me. I’m a fast-paced girl who has never had the patience for the south, or for the “country” music that’s coming out of Music City. But, that didn’t stop me from where I wanted to go next. I sat with the idea for a few months and revisited it from time to time, but by the time spring rolled around months later, I was sure that’s where I was headed. I made plans, and they fell through, but I made new plans and ended up exploring somewhere else for awhile. And that’s fine. At that time, no one really was behind my Nashville move, either.
Now it’s been a year since last spring when I made my decision, and I’m finally doing it. It was a struggle when I brought it up to my family again. There were a few weeks I spent tip-toeing around the word “Nashville” while on the phone, because I was sick of being met with awkward silence or “what about New York?” But it wasn’t like last time. No one told me I couldn’t make it there, or that they didn’t see me there. My family has even warmed up to the idea.
When I said I was moving to New York, I was met with snide remarks about how I couldn’t make it, or questioning my knowledge of how expensive it was to live in Greenwich Village (trust me, I know, and it was worth it). When I say I’m moving to Nashville, people can’t stop telling me that I’m going to love it – even mere acquaintances with whom I’ve shared only one email exchange.
I guess time will tell.