If home is where the heart is, then my heart’s in quite a few pieces. Virginia holds moments & memories I’ll treasure for the rest of my days. Spending the better part of twenty-two years in a place etches its character deep within you. The Blue Ridge Mountains hold a spot in my soul that’s refreshing like nowhere else on earth. In a way, this has always been — & will always be — home.
In recent years, I’ve been spending a lot of my time (& leaving a lot of my heart) in a new city. A city I claimed as my own long before I ever stepped foot in it. A city that’s alive with creativity, with music, with culture, with life. My heart’s been aching for the life I’m growing there, even as my heart’s been aching at the bittersweet end to the life I’ve cultivated here. This morning, my suitcase & I are headed back to Nashville, Tennessee. It’s been too long. Job interviews & house shopping & friendly dinners are waiting. And so, I’m visiting Tennessee for the last time. Next time I drive that familiar stretch of I-81 to I-40, it will be in a U-haul. Just me, myself, & a new season.
It’s funny. Leaving Virginia used to feel like going away, for vacation or business or just to see the world. But now, crossing that state line into Tennessee feels more like going home than leaving it. New seasons are nostalgic & exciting & scary all at the same time — but mostly, I’m just struck by the weirdness of the in-between. The way I’m living two lives at once, with separate friends and coffee shops and back roads that I’ve come to love. Splitting time between zip codes has been adventurous. But home can be a lot of places, & I’m learning to love the growth in old soil while still choosing to plant roots in new ground. So here’s to you, Nashville. I hope our last visit is sweet.