I spent tonight with a couple of the closest friends I've made here. All of them from Sewanee, and say what you will about that, but I literally teared up on the way home. I would love to regale you with fantastical descriptions of these friends that are, of course, well deserved but I think I would leave something out, and the fact that I just left them makes me too emotional to do them justice.
But no, this post is about my city, my home.
One of Ellyn's friends, I don't know who, put the song "Nashville" by David Mead on a mix that was in her car when I was driving it tonight. I'm not really sure if the song's about leaving Nashville or coming home to it, but I listened to it on repeat while I drove around tonight. I kept coming back to the last line in the song... "I will always love you like a long goodbye." That really truly is the way I feel about leaving this place.
I've never really had to leave home before. Firstly, because I didn't really have one. I have moved every three years for basically my entire life. And secondly, because I went to college about an hour and a half away from here...then promptly moved back. So now that I am going off to teach overseas, I am leaving home for the very first time. I think that's a good thing, though...don't misunderstand. But I love Nashville.
I love lower Broad. I love the Titans. I love Karl Dean. I love country music (seriously.). I love the Flying Saucer. I love the neighborhoods. I love the hipsters in East Nashville. I love the weird restaurants that think they're in Portland. I love Baja Burrito. I love how Old Hickory Blvd. is one road, but really is like 10 different ones. I love how all the roads have 3 different names, but are all actually the same road. I love Brentwood High. I love Vaughn's Gap. I love that the Parthenon is made of concrete. I love that you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and end up in the country. I love the Ryman. I love that my AP English teacher sang for the Opry. I love that my friends came here from all over and all of them love it. I love the name Nashthrill. I love the Batman building. I love the concerts on the river.
I've spent so much of my life here and it's hard to think of how I'm going to be anywhere else. Am I the same Tyler taken out of the context of this city? I think I'll always be the same guy...but shaped by the city that I've lived in and loved for 10 years of my life. Nashville, you will forever be my home...and I will always love you like a long goodbye.