Coming back to Nashville
It's been awhile since I've journaled in general, but I had a blog I kept for awhile, previous to this one, and I've been looking through it a lot recently thinking I am SO GLAD I wrote all these memories and details down because I completely forgot about all of these things! And that's when I realized I wanted a more personal aspect to show on this blog. This blog which has come to highlight the adventures I've been on, but not necessarily all the things in-between.
So for this "segment" of the blog, that serves more as a time capsule for myself, but can maybe be relatable for others, I'm titling "Journal". I hope it can help to balance out the things that are not as picturesque sometimes, or just to remember the little moments throughout these days that go by so so quickly.
Which brings me to my first entry and what it's been like since being back in Nashville...
Coming back to Nashville was different than when I first came to Nashville. Driving in that first night back in September, staying at a hotel, knowing I was going to be living on a farm 50 miles away in Bon Aqua for an unknown amount of time. Not knowing how I would feel one day ahead, not knowing where I'd be a month from then. There's something really exciting and exhilarating about that kind of controlled unknown. It was my choice, and I really had no idea how things would work out. Just that (hopefully) they would.
And they did. Everything fell together really well. I loved Sugar Camp Farm, working out in the field and learning about food. I was doing something new almost every day. I loved being outdoors. I loved the changing leaves that were always what I thought fall should look like. I loved being in the countryside. I loved when the rain would come and we could watch it through the window. Or, in one instance, experience it from the outside.
And then, after three weeks there, I loved moving to the city. Of finally living in Nashville like I had dreamed for almost seven years. Of having a room to call my own. I loved that it was so close to church, so close to downtown, and just 20 minutes from another favorite of mine — Franklin, TN. I also loved that I could still see Lizzie and Jessie at the farmers market on Saturdays and eat some of their delicious food.
I loved that I had time to do volunteer work. That I could help people and that I could pick and choose the design projects I wanted to do. I felt so burnt out from the road trip adventure that having an extended time to not be anywhere felt amazing.
I was making friends here, meeting people all the time, and even having some friends from home visiting. And I had a plane ticket home for a couple weeks during Christmastime to go back and see my family.
I think expecting the unexpected and just letting things go and having this feeling of "everything will work out" was part of why a potentially stressful situation seemed more like a fun adventure every day.
When I came back to Nashville, now about four weeks ago, my expectations were different.
I had a familiar home, with a room I put together. My bed placed in a nook in my room with the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. And all the cards and photos on my wall reminding me of the people that I love, that love me. I knew vaguely what my schedule was going to be. I had a new job starting a week after I arrived, and all the people I had grown close with over the past nine months to look forward to spending time with.
Two months is a long time to be away though. Just for the record. I had expected to come back and have everything be just like it was. But it felt like coming back to something familiar, but something really strange. I didn't know if I was the stranger — it felt like that my first night. The glow-in-the-dark stars weren't as bright. My special little cove/nook where I had put my bed started feeling more and more claustrophobic. And all of my roommates had either moved out, or were on their own fun travel experiences, so I was meeting my new roommate (who actually is one of the sweetest people ever — so that's fortunate) and a houseguest which was a very unexpected situation. I was trying to do the same things that had once felt comforting and familiar, but I felt so much like an outsider.
That first day back — after driving for eight hours — was a little overwhelming. And the next day I just tried to give myself some structure, do things I knew needed to be done. Unpacking. Laundry. Cleaning the house. Organizing. Food.
Honestly though, it took a good 2–3 weeks of re-familiarizing myself, of moving my room around, of taking breathers and do-nothing days, of acknowledging how much I actually missed my home in Los Angeles and all the people there, of how nervous I was about starting a new full time job, and then actually starting that job and continually trying to find a balance of work life, freelance, and spending time with people I care about before I finally felt back at "home".
Readjusting is strange. I should have anticipated that everything wasn't going to be flowers and rainbows and canoeing down a relaxing river or something.
And so it goes. Life is full of adjustments, changes. I would have liked to think that at this point, with all the traveling and unforeseen situations I've been in, I would be used to it by now. Like my mind would have an automatic action plan and I wouldn't have put myself on a tumultuous river of winding paths and rapids of emotions. But when a storm comes, saying that you should have anticipated it and been in a different place or mindset beforehand doesn't change that you're now standing in the middle of it. The worst is when you feel like you are the storm itself, and all you're capable of doing is let it pass through you and not letting it envelop others along the way.
Speaking of storms. The weather here is so different than Los Angeles summers I've experienced. For one, it's hot and humid. Like a walk around the block results in me sweating as if I've run three miles. For two, the bugs. But that will be a whole other post. And for three, there are a lot of summer storms here. Sometimes it will just be bolts of lightning in the distance, and sometimes it will be a bucket of pouring rain coming down for thirty minutes before absorbing into the concrete and the green grass, acting like it was never there.
I was sitting on the couch with Matt having a really lazy day where we wouldn't allow ourselves to touch the ground for five hours, gathering provisions beforehand and lining up a Netflix and Hulu show and movie schedule, seeing the sun shine through the blinds in the living room, enjoying the doughnuts my roommate got us, and all of a sudden, it turned a little gray outside and we could hear pelting water on the window. We swiftly — without touching the floor — jumped over to the other couch so we could look out the window and just sit there in awe as the rain just poured and poured itself down. It was so elegant in a way. And so mesmerizing. It only lasted ten minutes before it was gone and we got back to watching "The Five People You Meet in Heaven".
I love Nashville. So much. Even in all the readjusting, I never questioned that I wanted to be anywhere else. I'm so thankful for the job I have right now that I actually really enjoy (wasn't completely expecting that either), for the people that are here, for my boyfriend Matt and his family that also make me feel at home. And I'm grateful I still see Sugar Camp Farm at the farmers market on Saturdays.
As I've looked back on when I first came to Nashville until now (I can't believe it's almost been a year!!), I think it's a good time to remember and share some of the last photos I took while living at Sugar Camp Farm...
Tennessee, you are still one of my absolute favorites.