a note about the future.

Life is a journey. That’s no groundbreaking news. If we all knew where we were going to be in the next 10 years, life would be no fun. I have a lot of respect for people who follow a dream and achieve it – even if it’s not all they thought it would be. Hard work is admirable, but it comes in many forms. The path is different for each of us.

It’s no secret that I planned to live in Nashville from the day that I first set foot in town. I told everybody, and against their better judgement, they supported me. Or at least, they seemed to. Even I had to laugh at my decision to pursue an Entertainment Industry Studies major. But it got me to Nashville. It got me on Music Row. It got me internships and wild volunteer opportunities and a close proximity to everything I loved so much.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Country Music Changed My Life. My drive to work in the industry forced me to move down here and craft a world of my own. It caused me to look at myself and what I wanted, to take risks, to meet new people and to explore new opportunities. It gave me a taste of a world that I wanted and needed to know more about, and I have zero regrets about pursuing it.

But things have changed, and much as I still love Nashville I’ve realized that I might not be suited for the career I always thought I wanted. At the core, I was driven to be near the music. But I also wanted to write. (hence this blog!) So I tried out some different opportunities, I payed my bills, and I kept on searching. And that searching has led me to something really, really good and incredibly unexpected.

Come Monday, I’ll be the Assistant Director at a newly-established Writer’s Colony in the hills of College Grove, TN – right around the corner from home. I’ll be spending my days outside, in the country, working with writers, helping to keep up a beautiful home and make some sort of difference in the world. A difference that’s not rooted in money or fame, but in passion. I never saw this coming, but it couldn’t feel more right or appropriate.

So yes…. that “country music thing” didn’t work out for me. But don’t tell me I’m a failure. Don’t feel sorry for me or let some smug grin cross your face as you believe you were right all along about my ‘crazy dreams’.

This next part of the journey is my choice. This is fate. This is me coming into my own. And these are things aligning right where they’re meant to be.

This has nothing to do with country music. But it has everything to do with the country life that I didn’t know I was looking for when I fell in love with the songs that brought me to Music City 15 years ago.

So of course, to bring it all full circle to the songwriter I’ll likely never be, I’ve decided to write a poem about it. And then we can all move on….

~~~

I fell in love with the stench

of the beer

and the cigarettes.

I fell in love with the bass

and the feel of still-hot pavement under

bare feet at 2 AM.

Underage, 

under planned –

under the spell of something bigger than myself.

I fell in love…

and then I moved to Nashville.

I fell in love with the words

that I heard

and the worktape cassettes.

I fell in love with the challenge

to say the things

I wouldn’t dare speak out loud.

Play the G chord,

play the E –

play the C chord and then the D.

I fell in love…

and so I stayed in Nashville.

But I fell in love

with the smell of the grass

and the feel of the sun on my cheeks.

I fell in love

with the charm and the truck

and the long drive to open space.

Perfect age,

perfect time –

perfect cure for the songs that made me.

I fell in love…

and so I left Nashville.

But love never truly fades away

when it’s real.

And sometimes the call of Broadway

is the only thing I feel.

I fell in love

with a town seven hours away from home.

I fell in love

with a place that could never truly be my very own.

Ever dreaming,

ever seeking –

never settling for anything less.

I fell in love…

and it’s because of Nashville.

~~~

My wish for you this Friday is that you find your place. Find your passion, find your thing. Don’t give up on your dreams, but don’t be disappointed when they change. And never, never ever, let someone make you feel bad about it. You do you, boos.