Eight years ago, on May 7, 2005, I graduated from the University of Tennessee. I walked across the stage, had lunch with the family and hopped in my already packed car and drove to Nashville. I walked in my apartment that I’d picked out the month prior and started my journey into grown-up land. I was scared out of my gourd and so excited at the same time.
I knew about two people in Nashville and they were only here for the summer before going back to school. I had only been on Facebook for a couple of weeks (weeks!) so even these “friends” couldn’t help me get rooted. Gawd, how did we ever survive?
I moved Saturday and started my new job on Monday, May 9. What a moron! I had no idea to ask for a week or even a few days to get settled. Also, I was making a whopping $24,000 a year and couldn’t WAIT to bring home that first paycheck. SUCH.A.BALLER.
The first week I was in Nashville some belt in my car started making a funny noise. I called my Dad – naturally. I’ll never forget him reminding me that I was “off the teet” (one of his favorite sayings, to this day) and I better take it somewhere to get it looked at. WTF! You fix it! I already spent my money on booze, frozen chicken and crap at Hobby Lobby to hang on the walls. Ugh – being a grown-up is so hard.
Again – MORON. Little did I know – and I have it good, y’all, that the real fun stuff was yet to come. In retrospect and my old sage-like wisdom, I know I have it good. But I was still in no way prepared for the fun little curveballs life throws you when nobody is around to say “DON’T BE A MORON, moron.” I still have my health, my family and my fur baby – but the last eight years have been eventful, that’s for sure.
I thought about making this post some big “if I knew then what I know now” post, but everything I thought of just sounded dumb and petty. Because I’ve watched friends go through losses that would absolutely wreck me. I’ve watched friends my age lose children, parents, pets, jobs, family and even themselves over the past eight years. I have nothing to do but give thanks for my last eight years of grown-up-dom. I have approximately zero room to complain.
But it’s still fun to reflect and think about the steps that got me right here where I am today, which is a place I’m thankful and so pleased to be in. So I’ll just leave it at that.
Nashville, you keep getting better with age. You fine, country wine, you. Now I’m going to go hug on my family real tight for the next seven days.