This past weekend, Eric and I made a quick trip to Nashville to see Mary Cullen and Dave. *Insert cheers of happiness and joy here* They have just moved back. We were itching to see their new place and be back together in the city where we all "grew up."
For those of you who don't know, Eric and I moved from Nashville to Charlotte about a year and a half ago. It was an emotional move. I left the place that had I thought was going to be the launching pad for my biggest, life-long dream - to be a singer/songwriter. It had transformed from being a place of hope and opportunity, to the place where I abandoned my dreams, and became disillusioned and disappointed in myself and my life. Screw what my life looked on the outside. On the inside I was totally shattered.
And it really hurt.
I had come to equate Nashville as the place where my dreams died.
(Dramatic, I know. but what do you expect from a used-to-be-performer?)
I was so, so resentful. People would say "Omg you live in Nashville?!? How cool!" And I would put on a face and say "Yes! It's amazing", but on the inside I would roll my eyes and feel the anger, sadness, and disappointment well up inside of me. Every time. It was hard.
I was beyond ready to get away. I told people we were moving to be closer to family, the beach and the mountains - all true. However, in reality I needed to gtfo, wipe my slate clean and start over. I like to think I’m a "fight" girl in the flight or fight scale, but in truth - I’m an absolute flight risk.
Late this past Friday night, as we were approaching that iconic Nashville skyline, I was preparing myself for a little bit of lingering heartache. Instead, I was overcome with this incredible feeling that built up inside my stomach and lungs until I had no option but to sink into it, feel the *warm fuzzies*, and smile.
As we explored and walked around our old stomping grounds, I didn't feel ANY of the negativity I left Nashville with, just nostalgia, happiness, and hope for what's to come. I thought I'd return to feel validated in my frustration with the city, but instead I just felt GOOD. Maybe it was the combination of being with my soul sister and our respective soulmates. Maybe it's because I've matured. Maybe it's because I'm finally doing something that authentically and intensely fills my soul (this blog).
We needed to leave. We had to. I was going down fast. It was time for a change, for a fresh start, a new adventure. I just never anticipated that coming back would mean stumbling upon a completely healed heart and soul. When we left, I was completely crushed. I thought this city would always be a place of tension for me. Driving into Nashville, I was prepared to bear down for battle with my ultimate enemy--instead, it kindly greeted me like an old friend. I'm SO grateful.
Hurt happens. But healing happens, too.
I wish I had a formula to get through the hurt, to heal. I don’t. But, what I’ve gathered from my experience is: it takes time, patience, grace, and an incessant pursuit of a life and tribe that brings you joy.
Love ya, mean it -- Christina