cheers to one year.

a few days ago, my uncle was in town for a quick visit. he and his wife were in ohio for a car show and decided to take the long route home and pass through nashville to stop in, say hello, and buy me dinner. (so thankful for that treat!) it was the first time i've seen them since i moved, and at one point, we were discussing what it's like to make a big move like i did. it's easier at my age, he said, but i was still nervous before i left – wasn't i?

his question caught me off guard at first, because it's been so long since i talked about (or even thought about) what happened before i left, especially with someone who was there. whether it's what he was thinking of or not, there were a few months in between when i was supposed to move and when i actually moved. i guess it was nerves (and fear and anxiety), although even then i wasn't quite sure what it was (other than completely miserable). but looking back, i see that it was necessary, whatever it was, because pushing my move date back was the best decision i could have made.

i've officially been living in nashville for over a year now. i got here on july 21, 2012. (on that day this year, i was in charlotte, snuggling with my two-day-old nephew and listening to my brother sing happy nash-versary to you. the best.) now that it's been a whole year, it's mind blowing to look back at the past twelve months. not only have i lasted this long, but i've come so far, too.

last year at this time, i wrote about what happens if i fail. that was the place i was in. i had just moved from ct to nashville, from everything comfortable and safe to everything new and unfamiliar. it was hard (and scary and exhausting), and there were days when i was sure i wasn't strong enough, when i just wanted to give up. but i knew i had to give this thing a fair shot. just stay through the internship, i'd tell myself. it's only a few months, and then you can leave if you still want to.

honestly, in those first few weeks, when i hadn't started working yet and i had all the time in the world to be alone and miss home, that's what kept me going. knowing that in three months, i could leave again if i wanted to.

and now, it's strange to remember the very beginning, when i had to convince myself to keep doing this. but i didn't know then how everything would work out so perfectly. that my bosses at my (unpaid) internship would like me and want to keep me–enough to pay me! that i would find another job, with fun people who make hostessing not only bearable, but also enjoyable. that my roommates and i would end up being great friends. (but seriously, if it wasn't for crystal, i probably wouldn't have made it this far.)

it's still hard at times, and there are definitely days when i want to hop in the car and drive away, but i still feel giddy about living here. like, how is this even my life? that's how i know i'm still in the right place.

it still feels like a dream.