Leaving where you became your best to return to the place you ran away from doesn’t make any sense. But neither did running in the first place. And it’s the best thing I ever did.
I will always remember that morning, waking up with the stars and packing up the car. With one hand out the window waving with the wind and minds mesmerized by melodies, we took to the nearest “mountain”, walked up its little ridge alongside the sun, and then we stopped. Words were worthless, nor needed. So we sat, taking the time to reflect. Feeling like super heroes who just found their capes, we drove away ready to conquer anything.
The space between had its ups and downs, as does everything. We found ourselves surrounded by friends in a town where the whiskey never ends. Nights that led to reciting Shakespeare on rooftops and laying beside a fire under the stars. It started in the excitement of being outward, but the time came to turn inward.
I got jobs and started a life. That cozy coffee shop became a space that taught me how to be honest not only with myself but with others as well. I found family. They taught me that I don’t always have to smile and to say what is on my mind, even if people disagree. They taught me how to say “no” and not feel guilty. And that I am loved for simply being me, not who I think people want me to be. Those people and that place gave me strength. At first, I was afraid to leave out of fear of losing who I have become. But they showed me my ability. For the first time, I know what I am capable of without someone else.
We put the suitcases in the car and drove back to that minuscule mountain, as excited to leave as when we arrived, though this time with tears in our eyes. Again, words failed and silence spoke. This time we each realized that we had our own capes and it was time to fly, though it was no longer side-by-side.
Part of me is forever in Nashville, Tennessee. Some days I miss the life I built so much that my body aches. But I could not stayed a minute longer nor left a second sooner. While I miss it every day, I know that I am in the right place and I carry these people and those lessons with me in every breath.
I find that it is time to begin, yet again. The place may be the same, but I am not. I know what I want and that I will make it happen. I have learned to set up a life and this time, I can make it stronger. Just like throwing a pot, establishing a strong foundation will allow the vessel of my life to take its form.