Friends, last week was a little sad… My dear friend James is on his way to a new adventure, leaving Nashville (and us) in his rear view mirror. I’m not crying, you’re crying! People come and go in our lives, but I hope James never disappears entirely, because he’s such a treasure.
It is his time to leave, though. Moving on to another place after you’ve made fast friendships, career connections, and truly tried to build a life for yourself… well, that is SO hard and scary, and it’s something that some people never even do. I am proud of him for making this decision and also happy that he has so much hope for what this new chapter will bring.
James unknowingly arranged to leave Nashville almost exactly a year from the day he arrived, his past and future selves passing like ships in the night. That seems like a sign from the universe that he’s making the right decision, if you ask me! I don’t care if coincidence is basically only simple mathematics. If that’s true, then that’s some beautiful science that lets me know there is an order to our lives. I see nothing mutually exclusive about those ideas.
I’ve thought about leaving Nashville, myself, plenty of times. I’m coming up on my third year in this great city and in some ways it is amazing for me to be here. In some ways, I will also never fit here.
So when do you pull the plug? When do you say that you’ve gotten all the personal progress you could out of a city?
I’ve been practicing making myself a servant to the fates on this one. Whatever happens will happen, and I will know what to do when the time comes. But how do you sit in that uncertainty without drowning in anxiety?
I believe most big decisions in your twenties require a delicate balance of intuition, risk, and faith.
For instance: I have faith that when the time comes, my intuition will give me the signal to take the risk. And you know what? That formula works for the decision to stay as much as it goes for the decision to leave.
I can’t know for sure that Nashville is still right for me, that the universe still has a plan for me here- but something inside nags at me that my time in this city isn’t over. Even when things get hard, and I want to leave for a more comfortable place, my gut tells me I’m not finished. Why? I don’t really know. But I am going to risk staying here in order to honor that overwhelming feeling- which can be burdensome! My rent is high, my friend group is ever-changing, I juggle four jobs, and this city can be a trap of choosing fun over responsibility. On top of that, I’m relatively alone in dealing with my grief and Despite all this, I still learn so much about myself and my passions every day, and I get to have incredible experiences that are unique to this place with amazing people I never would have thought would be in my life.
I have faith that someday my gut is going to let me know if it’s time to bring my life in Nashville to a close. And, then, I will have to gather all my courage to move on and leave everything that I have come to know here behind.
I admire James. What he’s doing is powerful and courageous. He knows who he is and what he wants, and he is going to do some pretty incredible things- I am sure his reward will be worth the risk.
As for me, I stay in Nashville, listening for the sound of the timer dinging.
Keep listening to your instincts. They won’t take you in the wrong direction. Once you do make the decision to take a leap