I have found that people are always curious as to why you may live in a state other than the one you were born. Being born in Ohio, living in Montana and growing up in North Carolina, most are a little confused as to exactly how I ended up in Nashville.
So, for your reading pleasure…the not so beaten path that led me here…
In my senior year at Appalachian State University In Boone, NC (yes, we beat Michigan in 2007 and yes, that win helped us build a new football stadium; but no, I already graduated, and don’t ask me the year!), I was faced with an easy decision. To graduate and move to Charlotte or, perhaps, Raleigh…or, to graduate and leave the state.
Don’t get me wrong, North Carolina is a beautiful state, one that I miss every winter when Nashville is grey and without snow and every summer, when the beach was only five hours away…leaving the state was the obvious choice, however, where to?
About two years before I graduated, I started regularly visiting Nashville with a dear friend of mine where his brother lived at the time (this brother is now well on his way to being a famous country star; but I don’t believe in name-dropping:)). After the first Dancin’ in the District of the summer (fantastic outdoor concert series that is no longer around), smack dab on the Riverfront, watching Robert Earl Keen, Jr. perform and a cold one in my hand, I knew I had to be there. In Nashville. All the time.
I wanted to start out alone (yes, maybe I was a little ambitious) in a bigger city where I could learn, grow and rock it out. And that is what I did (cue Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again). When graduation rolled around, I moved to Music City, USA. Already in love with Nashville, I jumped right in…heart and soul first.
I rented the attic of an old 1900′s (as in 1912) home in the Belmont area and started beating down my own path. I found my first job, volunteered in the community, started doing events and even learned about SEC football (the ACC is nowhere near this psychotic, I mean, exciting). My relationship with Nashville was getting serious and I knew I could never stray.
To this day, Nashville feels like home to me. Even after living and working in multiple cities, states and countries, there is a sense of peace that comes over me every time I hop on the plane back home. When my family visits now, they always comment on how “nice” (said in a confused tone with a goofy look on their faces) everyone is. Apparently our positive outlook doesn’t just sprout up everywhere…
And it doesn’t stop there. Nashville is growing like Justin Bieber. From the new, almost open (May of 2013) Music City Center, to the trendy and delicious food scene, entrepreneurial hot spot and the hit show Nashville, this city is a “Big Star” (in the words of Kenny Chesney).
While I will continue to manage meetings and events across the country, vacation across the pond, and perhaps even live bi-coast-ly, Nashville will always have my heart. And my property taxes.