Tag Archives: moving

One Year Later, Part 1: Back Home

How quickly things can change.

Well… they really didn’t change very quickly at all. I’ve written a total of three posts in the last 18 months of my life. I suppose if anyone decided to binge-read these, then everything I’m about to write would seem rather abrupt. But I promise—as quickly as it all may seem to have happened, it was all a long, winding, purpose-driven road.

When I last left you, I was pining for my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I wrote several hundred words proclaiming my love for it and my desire to return to it. There really is no city quite like it, you know. In moving to the lonely metropolis of Nashville, we discovered that running from our problems only created more. We tried to make the best of a depressing situation, but it was useless. We weren’t making an omelet; we were just breaking eggs.

After writing that post, I knew we would be coming home sooner than we had originally planned. Once we found out we were pregnant with our third little boy, my timetable was moved up. The last thing we wanted was to be stuck almost three hours away from our extended family with three small children.

We were about to be outnumbered. We took that very seriously.

I applied for a several different jobs in Chattanooga, and I went weeks without hearing anything. That was the hardest part. With every resume I sent that went unacknowledged, every letter I sent that went unanswered, my spirits sank a little more. After a few months of fruitless searching and dreaming, it was beginning to feel hopeless. (Writing this now, it seems rather silly. Some people search for years to find a job, and there I was all downhearted because a couple months had passed without any results. But that was mostly a product of my environment; it wasn’t hard to feel down during those days.)

Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one looking. Michelle was also browsing all the major job sites, forwarding any that she thought I might find interesting. She’s the one who found the posting at Vikus, a software company that creates HR software for the senior care industry. They were in need of a content writer who could also handle digital marketing and social media. It was a perfect fit.

I’ll save my hiring story for another post. It’s quite funny, and deserves to stand on its own.

After I got the job, the planning began. Our third was due to arrive at the end of November, which gave us a couple months to get things figured out. We didn’t have a place in Chattanooga anymore, so we decided that I could stay with my parents for a bit while Michelle kept the boys up in Nashville. It wasn’t ideal for all of us to be split between two different cities, but my wife and the boys had developed a fairly active social life in the two years we had been living there, and it didn’t feel right to yank them away from it without a home of our own to go to. So we put the plan into motion, and I started looking for places for us to live while counting down the days to my new job.

Then came October 14th—the day history repeated itself in a way we hoped it never would.

 


My City.

My family and I have lived in Nashville for over a year and a half. In that time, we have managed to explore the city and even make a few friends along the way. We found the best pizza place . . . practically ever. We discovered some really cool places to hang out (like the Adventure Science Center and the Nashville Zoo), and we frequent them as often as we can. I found a great comic store that Liam and I like to visit on occasion, and the Dave & Buster’s that’s up here has proven to be a blast every time we’ve stopped in.

Downtown Nashville Skyline

We’re starting to learn our way around. The GPS is still a necessity, but it’s not a complete and total wash if I leave it at home. Nashville is a maze of highways and traffic, but it’s one that I feel I am beginning to learn to navigate.

All of that . . . and this place still isn’t home.

This weekend, we spent some time in Chattanooga. We were in town for a birthday party, and we managed to carve out some time that morning to see some friends, too. That night, I made the mistake of driving around downtown on my way back to my parents’ house to sleep. It could be said that the mistake was in attempting to navigate downtown Chattanooga during the notoriously chaotic Riverbend Festival currently taking place. But that wasn’t it at all. The roads weren’t difficult—the feelings were.

As I drove around, seeing the familiar sights and weaving through the familiar streets, I was hit with an overwhelming wave of feeling: This is home. This is where we belong. This is where life makes sense.

Downtown Chattanooga - Miller Plaza

This is My City.

When I talk about going home, I talk about coming here. Even when we’re in Nashville, the Reader and I both know that when we say the word “home,” we’re speaking of the next time we visit Chattanooga. No other place has ever felt like it, and I highly doubt any other place will.

When we left, it was due to necessity. We were in a tough position financially, and I was offered a job that would basically save us. And that’s what I keep telling myself: We didn’t have a choice. I was given an opportunity to advance my career as a writer, learn some new (and potentially valuable) skills, and get a pretty hefty pay increase at the same time. All I had to do was pack up my family and move to Nashville. I would have been an idiot to turn it down.

I still sometimes wonder if I should have.

Nashville is not home. It just isn’t. Many people have told me to give it a chance—that it has a lot of the qualities we’re looking for in a place to raise our family, and that it could be home if we wanted it to be.

And they’re half right.

It does have a lot of the qualities we’re looking for in a place to raise our family. It has a rich cultural heritage, and there is always something going on in some part of the city. Aside from the places I mentioned earlier, there is also the library system, which is one of the best I’ve ever had the privilege of using. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, and I’m sure we haven’t even begun to unearth all the possibilities that Nashville has to offer us.

But, no matter how much we might want it to be, Nashville will never be home. The most it will ever be is a way station—that place we stopped one time when we needed a helping hand. Funny thing is, it hasn’t been nearly as helpful as it was supposed to be. Despite having a substantially higher salary, things have never been harder for us financially than they are right now. With the bright lights and the big city came a big price tag. When you add the fact that we have never felt more alone and isolated than we do right now, we have come to one inescapable (and overwhelmingly relieving) conclusion:

I think it’s about time we came home.


Status Update.

Hello, dear reader. You may have forgotten who I am. It’s certainly been long enough, hasn’t it? I’ll try to keep that from happening too often. You see, life has been busy. Unbelievably busy. Crazy busy. So busy that I need a word longer than “busy” to accurately describe it. But it’s also been exciting. And scary. And fulfilling. And a whole list of adjectives that would more than likely begin to bore you after the fourth or fifth.

So what has happened? Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I got a job in Nashville. It paid much more than my last job, and promised to take me places that my last job seemingly had no intention of taking me. That was exciting. That was scary. Getting a job with a growing company where I would be helping to rebuild their e-commerce marketing from the ground up was exciting. Moving to a new city where I knew no one and starting a job where I knew no one and experiencing change after change after change was scary. As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am a creature of habit, and I tend to both fear and abhor change. But change is necessary. Change is healthy. At least, that’s what I tell myself when my thoughts slip and I lose my breath. Regardless, the job is going wonderfully. I feel respected, and I have made several contributions to the company that have my supervisors singing my praises and constantly telling me how “phenomenal” I’m doing. It’s a good feeling, and, professionally, I am very happy.

I am taking a break from school this semester to adjust to the new location and the new job. Because of this, I have more time to write and spend with my family — both of which I have been doing a lot of. I’m hard at work on several different things: my first novel, my web serial, and a bible for a fantasy series that I’d love to write someday. It’s an exciting time creatively for me, and I hope I can have something ready for submission soon. I want to capitalize on this time away from school and work on actually getting some work published.

The family is doing great. We’re all adjusting to the new home, and we’re working on actually adding home-type things like furniture and internet. But we still have our pizza nights, complete with bean bag chairs and family-friendly movies, and we have our book readings and our library trips. Things are slowly settling into a routine, which is rather marvelous and awe-inspiring considering the situation.

Also, our family is growing. This summer, Liam will have a little brother or sister. We should be finding out very soon which it will be. I have my theory, Michelle has hers. Once we know, so will you. We’re way too excited to withhold any information.

So . . . that’s what’s been happening. Hopefully, I can keep up with current events and there won’t be a need to do this again.

It’s good to be back.


%d bloggers like this: