7 years. (a lost post)an oldie but a goodie... from the draft archives
Logan's party made me realize just how much our lives have changed in the 7 years we've called TN home. When I loaded the moving truck after my last exam at UNCW and hit the road, I never thought I would find myself in a city I love, with a husband and family, and surrounded by the best friends I've ever had. I never thought this is where we would plant our roots and grow our love. I never imagined we'd still be here nearly a decade later. And I definitely never thought I would find my heart and myself in Nashville.
When I left my parents' house and moved away to college, I didn't leave behind many friends. Through my last few years of high school I found myself further and further away from the friends I had grown up with, and disconnected from the world I had always known. I had good friends, just not nearly as many as the girl that started high school just 4 short years before.
In Wilmington I did everything I could to avoid making new friends and embracing the college life. I was shy, I was scared, and I found a way to keep myself from having to face my fears. I had a few friends from my hometown and a few new friends I shared a lot of classes with, but my life felt different than what most people experience in college. I was happy, but lonely. Nick and I found each other, and in a way this kept me even more isolated from the rest of the world. We spent all of our time together... I was head over heels.
When we moved to TN, we weren't leaving many friends behind... only our few best friends that we would always keep close. We moved to a little ranch in Murfreesboro, TN, surrounded by cows and farm land and far from anyone our age. I didn't work outside of the house for the first year, so meeting new people was a challenge (and, let's face it, NEVER happened). Nick had a few friends from school, but many of them were young college girls drooling over the hot, 25 year old in class. It was a recipe for disaster. I can't say I have a lot of great memories from our time in the little house at the end of the road.
But it wasn't much later that things began to change. At the beginning of 2007 I started a new job in Nashville, and met some girls that would later stand by my side in my wedding. I met more new friends through them, and for the first time in years my calendar was filled with girls' nights, dinner with friends, and nights out in the city. A few years later I was in nursing school at Belmont, meeting even more great people. And three years ago I found myself at Centennial with the greatest group of girls I have ever worked with.
Seven years ago, I never thought the hardest thing about planning my son's birthday party would be shortening the invitation list to fit our budget. I never imagined that we could fill a room with so much love from family and friends. Seven years ago I wouldn't have expected so much of our Chattanooga family to drive so far to celebrate with us, because I wouldn't have made the effort. But somewhere along the way I found that the only thing that really matters in life are the people you surround yourself with. You can have all the success in the world, but without family and friends to share it with you won't find happiness. I found that holding on to insecurities and fears only made me more insecure, and more fearful and envious of the world I was missing. But most importantly, in the last seven years I have found the people I want to share the rest of my life with.