Ever since I decided to move to Tennessee, I've gotten nonstop questions asking "why?"

"Why Nashville?"
"Are you a musician?"
"You're not a musician? You don't sing? You don't play ANYTHING?"
"Wait... you're a psychology major?"
"What are you going to do down there?"
"How long are you going to live there?"
"Won't you miss your friends and family?"


I'll tell you why. Upon my first visit in June of 2013, I fell in love. I didn't fully realize it until months later when I was planning my next trip down. Nashville made me feel welcome; I was surrounded by the kindest people, live music on every corner, and an abundance of creativity. I always left Nashville feeling inspired and wanting more.

In February of 2014, I was talking to a friend about how I felt lost and alone. I felt like a stranger in my own hometown; completely uninspired, uncreative, and burned out. I woke up every day with the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I didn't belong. On the inside, I was completely dead; it was as though my world was gray and I was just floating by. I had played around with idea of moving back in September of 2013, but I was given the courage to move forward with them on February 23rd.

"NASH PLANS 2-23-14"

This is the cork from the night I sat my parents down and shared my plans (I actually found this while packing for the move and I'm so glad I saved it). This is the night moving became real. I specifically remember texting my friend saying "I might be living in Nashville this time next year."

One year later, here I am.

So, why Nashville? Because at this point in my life, I know this is where I need to be. Do I plan on staying here forever? Possibly. I have no intention on moving back to Chicago, but also can't say this is my forever-home. I also dream of living in Colorado someday. Am I a musician? Not by any means. I song-write for fun and play around on my keyboard, but it's not anything I'm pursuing. I'm a psych major planning on becoming a counselor. Everyone knows Nashville as the "Music City," but it's also known as the nation's health care center. Health care is actually one of Nashville's largest industries, bringing in billions of dollars each year. So, I think I'll be alright. Everyone talks about how the key to happiness involves the people you surround yourself with and living in a place that you love, but few practice what they preach. I decided to make it happen. Of course I miss my friends and family, but sometimes you have to sacrifice the good things in your life to move forward. Moving away doesn't mean goodbye: it's see you later. I have big plans for my life, and moving here was the first step in order to achieve them. My friends and family get that. I have an amazing support system, and couldn't be more thankful to love so hard and be loved in return.

Since June 2013, I've also made trips in October 2013, December 2013, June 2014, July 2014, November 2014, and December 2014. It's now January of 2015, and nothing's changed. I'm so incredibly happy to be right where I am.

This is also a new segment I'm starting on my blog. Chances are if I know you and you live in Nashville or somewhere in Tennessee, you will be approached to answer the same questions. I'm also going to ask strangers on the street or in a coffee shop to do the same. There's a reason behind it... to be continued.

2014 in review



Started the year off with my best friend and a foreshadowing fortune. January marked the beginning of my two semesters at GSU. I remember being uneasy about 2014 because, following my usual pattern, even-numbered years are unlucky for me. Even though the year started off terribly, I was very, very wrong.


Lots of anxiety. Lots of writing. Work and school were full force and I was feeling very lost and alone. Nonetheless, it was a very memorable month.


Very productive; lots of plans were made and put into effect. I focused a lot on my health and even tried Raw Til 4. I would love to go back to it, but it's a bit costly and takes preparation.


The first trip of 2014: my mom and I flew down to Florida for a girls getaway. We ended up crashing a wedding on the beach. It was awesome. Other than that, April was rough. There was a lot going on and I was extremely overwhelmed. This resulted in a tattoo.


Holy hell, May was a great month. My grandma turned 90 and I got to see a lot of family I hadn't seen in ages. Obviously, the best part was the 10 day trip my family and I took to Italy. We flew business class over seas (thanks Aunt Robin), got to visit our family in Vicenza, and made it to Venice, Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Rome. We tasted true olive oil from Bonamini, went on a gondola ride in Venice, hiked up the dolomites in the Alps, dipped our toes in the Mediterranean, and got to experience the leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish steps,  Il Duomo, the Uffizi museum, St. Peter's Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, and The Vatican. Truly an adventure of a lifetime.


June was also amazing. My parents and I went down to Tennessee on a school visit, and I had the opportunity to show them why I fell in love with Nashville.

But the BEST part was making the last minute decision to fly to Ireland to visit my friends in Belfast. I hadn't seen Rebecca or Eoin in 4 years, and hadn't seen Sam in 7. Spending time with Rebecca and her (very large and lovely) family meant more to me than I could ever explain. By far one of the best experiences I've had thus far.


One of my best friends flew in from San Diego and stayed with us for 3 weeks. Having her here was so great that when she left I didn't know what to do with myself. I also turned 21! And went horseback riding. Maybe I turned 12....not sure. I did get to officially celebrate with all my best friends down in Nashville the following weekend. That was awesome.

And I made this gem.


I lost my dog of 13 years. That was real rough. Alternatively, I feel like I was doing a lot of internal reflection and was getting stronger.


I spent Labor Day weekend in the Bahamas with my best friend, marking the 3rd time I left the country this past year. It was an amazing trip; attending the country fest, making new friends, seeing old friends who were also there that weekend, and having no worries. Every day was a giant pool party. True paradise. Also, I had the guts to introduce myself to Michael Jordan and sit down and have a conversation, which was definitely a highlight.

I also took on a second job. Things started getting really crazy here on out.


I got a new car!!!!!!! If you're my friend, you knew how necessary that was. No more death trap on wheels. Also, October was apparently wedding season, because I attended two of them. One of them being my cousin Brittany's, held in North Carolina. Yet another trip was made down south, and it was honestly the best wedding I've ever been to. Love rules. This Halloween was one of the best I've ever had, thanks to one of my closest friends who made it a point to carve pumpkins, go to a haunted house, and watch ALL the Halloween movies. That also ruled.


My cousin's film about Elvis premiered at Marcus, my best friend turned 22, I finally saw the 1975, and I SIGNED MY LEASE IN TENNESSEE. Yep. Made it official -- no turning back.

Didn't sleep much during November. Holy craziness.


Made the 4th trip down to Tennessee, had an interview (and a second interview), and GOT A JOB. I left both of my jobs which was really difficult, especially after being at Peace for 5 and a half years. I spent the majority of December preparing to move, spending time with friends and family, and catching up on a month's worth of sleep.

This last year was the craziest by far, but it also was the best. A lot of people couldn't wait for 2014 to be over, but it treated me so good. So much better than I could have ever anticipated. Despite a few really terrible series of events, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have never been more grateful for the opportunities and the love and support in my life.

I can only hope 2015 will be half as good, but I know it will since I'll be living in the greatest place in the world. I'm ready to start this new chapter.
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