Saturday, December 10, 2016

Growing Pains.

I have lived in Nashville for almost six years now.

Wow, that feels so good.
Scary, yes.
Weird, yes.
But good.

I have been hurt by so many people here.
Helped by so many people here.
Taken care of by people here.
Cut off in traffic by people here.

Little girls at schools all across this fine city have braided my hair and scoffed at my head full of tangles.
I have babysat and tucked kids in to bed at practically every city zip code.
I have voted several times here- once for a mayor who was elected and now comes to my yoga classes on the reg.

My car tires have burned MILES of rubber against these back roads, highways, and interstates.
I have passed the same trees countless times without even realizing it.
I wonder what these trees have noticed about me or my car or my addiction to staying busy.

I have used the Wifi of SO MANY cafes and coffee shops here.
I have said hello and goodbye to so many friends that have moved away.
Seen so many moving trucks in driveways.
Couches and chairs getting stacked together like a puzzle.
I've given hugs and said phrases like, “Safe travels. See you soon”.
Phrases that roll off my tongue from habit, but this time, with a shaky voice and a wrinkle in between my eyebrows.

I have cried with so many here.
Laughed with so many here.
Drunk wine with so many here.

This city has watched me grow up, and I mean that in the most honest, most authentic way possible, and if I said that outloud in the right place at the right time, it would come with a shaky voice and a wrinkle in between my eyebrows.

This city has watched me switch jobs.
It has watched me create traditions and projects and dreams.
It has watched me change addresses four times.
Create a nonprofit.
Become a yogi and a yoga teacher and crave the four corners of my mat like they are my lifeline to sanity.

I came with a college degree.
Now I have a Masters.

I met a boy at a summer camp who is now a man that I love, four and a half years later.
I came with a locked-down faith from a committed Southern girl who attended church every Sunday because that was the “right thing to do”.

I came with a script, y’all.

Little did I know, these beautiful six years would present me with more questions than I even knew were possible.
Little did I know that I would kind of love that, and accept that, and not be afraid of the questions or the doubt, or Lord-behold, the raw, reliable mystery of it all.

I moved here because Denver didn’t work out.
We broke up, I got angry, I escaped and started over as fast as I could so I wouldn’t have to feel anything.

I moved here without a job.
Just ready to get out of Alabama and be a stranger in a new place.

Here’s the thing- I do not hold this city, or any city, to perfection, measuring its every ounce just right, calculating its ingredients of diversity, affordable housing, and career opportunities time and time again, with sweaty hands and a racing heart.

I am growing, and so is this city.
I am making mistakes and cherishing life and getting older, and so is this city.

But somehow, right here, right now, I feel safe.
I feel held by this city and her people and her mistakes.
And that feels good, y’all.

Scary, yes.
Weird, yes. 

But good.

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