Almost 10 years ago, I moved to Nashville and quickly fell in love with the city. I loved everything about it!
It amazed me, how it was a city, but it had a small town feel. I could go almost anywhere, and chances I’d run into someone I knew was strong. It ceased to amaze me how I’d run into friends at random locations, and a five minute errand would turn into an hour long visit. I never worried about going anywhere alone, because someone would always make sure I got to my truck safe. It was just that kind of place: we all look out for each other.
The history of the city enthralled me. I’d listen to tales of the past with a fascinated gleam in my eyes. I’d dig through archives online or at the library, wanting to know everything. The good, the bad, the changes. It captured a part of my soul.
Important to me was the fact that it was the home and heart of country music. I remember clearly someone walking up to me when I worked at the Dog House to ask, “Where on earth can I find anything EXCEPT country music?” and I gave them a blank stare. Not only was I thrown by the question, I legitimately didn’t have an answer.
I would actually get a flutter in my stomach when the skyline would appear in front of me, as I came into downtown. This was MY city, and I loved it.
But I guess as many relationships happen, both sides change. Nashville today is not the Nashville I fell in love with. Establishments that were so secure are now gone. High rises have started changing that skyline I love(d). Cranes liter the spaces in between. History is being torn down (literally) in the name of progress.
Progress is so important to a city surviving. I know this, and I acknowledge it. I even respect it. I just wish progress could do more to respect the past. I visited Louisville this summer, and I felt that old pitter-patter in my heart of the past speaking… Old buildings revitalized lined the streets. I looked at them with awe. I looked at them with sadness… wishing Nashville had followed suit in places, instead of opting for new and shiny.
Its really hard to find country music in Nashville today. Drive down Broadway, where 10 years ago you heard country music, you now here rock. Or the new version of country that is pretty much 90s pop. I find myself asking vendors, “Where can I hear country music?” much like those rock fans asked me for anything except country years ago.
I can’t go downtown and be guaranteed to know anyone any more. Because many I know don’t go there anymore either. It’s all tourists and bachelorette parties.
But here is where I acknowledge I’ve changed, too. The thought of going downtown doesn’t excite me any more… it just makes me tired. I prefer an evening at a restaurant or bar with friends visiting instead of the crush and adrenaline of bar hopping. Shots of Fireball or Crown have been replaced by sipping craft beer.
I still get an excited feeling when I see the skyline, and I do still love Nashville… just not as much as I once did. If this were a relationship, I’d ask it if we can just be friends.
Don’t take this as my letter to the world that I’m leaving Nashville and Tennessee. No, this is where my husband and I have made our home, and I do still love being here. I have wonderful friends, and I love our home. I’m branching out in other areas, and I’ve grown SO MUCH in the last 10 years. Like I said, Nashville isn’t the only one in this relationship that’s changed. I have, too.
So who knows what the next 10 years will bring for me as well as for Nashville. The only thing guaranteed is change… and that’s just life.