I had had enough of Hollywood signs and bottom-of-the-ladder grinds, smoggy roof top views and the bitchy banter of LA transplants, living at my mom's place and feeling like a loser-lame-o-want-to-be. So, I Forest Gump’d it to a new country: The American South.
Like all monumental decisions, the one to immigrate happened over a long period of time and, then, all at once. For about a year and a half, I spent my weekends fighting a losing battle with wanderlust. I was jetting off to Philly to visit old college buds and snorting Mardi Gras poppers in New Orleans and sleeping, tent-less, in the Joshua Tree desert. For about a year and a half, I did whatever I could to get out of my childhood bedroom for. Through it all, I had been mulling over a move to Music City.
In LA, it was starting to feel like everyone was on their solo Sisyphean journey, moving mountains by their lonesome. Huddled trinities of hipsters (wearing black of course) refusing to converse in a rooftop bar. Publishers making snide remarks about your lack of stature. Sure, you might work with some people, but only when they felt like they had something to gain from you. Its pretty easy to get jaded...its pretty easy to get lonely.
But, I was starting to hear whispers of Nashville, a place where songwriters were actually trying to climb ladders together and lend helping hands. And, truthfully, that's what I really wanted: friendship over fake-i-tude, camaraderie over cat fights. (Also, Nashville rent is cheap as hell, even if you have a backyard and a front yard, so, boy bye.)
However, what finally convinced me to hop on a shitty, southbound American Airlines flight was a simple conversation I had over Mongolian beef. It went as follows:
Me: “I think I want to live in Nashville.”
My Amigo Remington: “Do it.”
Picking up my life and leaving had always seemed an arduous affair. I would have to pack up my popcorn popping pot into my Prius and ship that car off. My mother would have to say goodbye without shedding a tear and, then, promptly cry in her room. Somehow, I'd forget to bring my Cole Haan Harry Potter glasses which I really should never leave the house without. And, even though all of those things did happen, the move proved to be as simple as Remington's command: Do it.
As a kid, I never thought I'd be living down here, had never wished for it or nothing like this: The land of Honky Tonk bars. The city that gifted fame to Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. A state so full of Red politicians that, well, make of that what you will. But, here I am, meeting new people from Ohio and Texas everyday, writing songs with a twang. And, truth be told, I lurve it. Until that next bout of wanderlust blows me away like a dandelion seed in the summer wind, I'm laying down some deep roots in Nashville.