Our theme for the month of September is Alphabet Soup. Each writer was assigned a letter and will title their post “___ is for ___.”
I moved to Nashville a few weeks ago on what seemed like a whim, but was actually a carefully deliberated leap. Adventure was calling, and Music City was the answer.
My preconceived notions of Nashville were as follows: country music, great brunch, and lots of young professionals. Can confirm that so far, so accurate.
My first week in town was largely spent unpacking, making trips to Target (five trips in four days to be exact), and talking on the phone with AT&T’s customer service (the internet struggle is real).
To avoid going crazy, I made it a rule to leave my apartment at least once a day. Whether that was going for a hike at Radnor or grabbing the essentials at Trader Joes, I knew that despite my introverted tendencies, some human interaction was a must.
Thankfully, the people here are so kind. Southern hospitality is alive and well, folks. Most people I’ve met have a “How I Ended Up in Nashville” story, many of which mirror mine. And considering approximately one hundred people move here every day, there are a lot of stories.
With so many new faces, the possibilities are endless, the job market is competitive, and the traffic is terrible.
Moving to a new city by myself feels like being a freshman in college all over again. Can I carry around a sign that reads: “I’m new here”? Can I attend the adult version of Cokes and Clubs?
I’ve always enjoyed music, and I figured what better way to meet new, likeminded people than at a musical event in Music City? So when I saw a familiar band was coming to town, I promised myself I would go to the concert, even if I had to go solo.
In the spirit of staying true to my word, I went to a concert alone on Monday night. Instead of feeling bad for myself, I decided it was going to be an adventure. And I put it on my Nashville bucket list, so there was no getting out of it.
I arrived at the venue an hour early, gave myself a serious pep talk, took a deep breath, and followed a couple through the doors. The bouncer taped on my wristband and I made my way toward the stage.
Because my eyes had trouble adjusting to the red light and smoky air, it took a moment to realize that I was one of only ten people in the room…including the bartender. I strode over to a table left of the stage—looking effortlessly nonchalant, I’m sure—and slid onto a barstool, only taking inventory of the room when I arrived at my perch.
It took about an hour, but eventually more concertgoers arrived, though the attendance number never broke fifty. And no one ever looked at me sideways for being there alone. It was a mutual understanding—we were there for the music. Nothing else mattered.
Checking that night off my Nashville bucket list was just as rewarding as I’d hoped. This is a strange, transitional time of life, but I am glad to be learning in a city that is no stranger to growth and new faces.
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.