I had started this post before I left Nashville... I finally got around to finishing it!
A chronology of my time in Nashville and why it is such a special place to me.
Looking back, it doesn't seem like yesterday, but it doesn't seem like the almost 12 years it has been since I stepped foot on to Vanderbilt's campus as an 18 year old freshman. I came to Nashville knowing no one but Dan Cypra. I was grateful to have that one person I knew, I could trust and in whom I could confide just steps away in the next dorm over. When I walked on campus, I had no idea that I would make Nashville my home for almost 12 years, almost 40% of my life. I remember thinking, when I move back to Chicago... But Chicago never happened and Nashville won over my heart.
Beginning freshman year knowing practically no one, you soon meet lots of people. Some of those people I can't remember the names or even the faces of today, but through a mutual friend from Homewood, I met Chad. And living in my dorm was my "twin" Lauren. You never know who when you meet someone if they will just pass through your life or be a permanent fixture in it. While I don't talk to either of them as much as I'd like, we are still friends and can pick up instantly like no time has passed between visits.
Then sophomore year, I met Jenny and Josh. I cannot even begin to recall the hours I spent with these two and Cypra's roommate Jim doing projects, homework and studying. At least one of them was in about every Econ, Finance and Business class I took. I also met Kyle in Accounting, aka Skippy, but I cannot remember why I called her that. Inseparable would describe us until she graduated a year before me and moved to Hawaii.
Senior year brought about a relationship with Nick, but more importantly through Nick, I found great friendships with Laura and Bryan. The relationship with Nick didn't last all that long, but our friendship remains as well as my friendships with Laura and Bryan. After college Laura and I lived together on two separate occasions. She was the only roommate I liked living with! Ok, well I only had 2 roommates ever, so she wins the contest hands down! It was amazing we could work at the same place all day and then still enjoy hanging out together at night. But then she moved to Philadelphia to be with the future husband.
After living with Laura, but before my condo was completed, I ended up at Josh & Lauren's wedding in Kansas City where I met Elizabeth. She and I had quite a few mutual friends including Josh, Lauren, Jim and Cypra, but somehow, in four years of college, we had never really met. It turned out she was moving to Nashville and was going to have quite a bit of extra space in her new house. She volunteered to let me live with her for a month, which turned into two. I became quickly attached to my two new roommates, Elizabeth and her up tight Peagle, Reggie. I've never become such good friends with anyone so quickly. I'm so grateful for meeting Elizabeth and don't think anyone in this world could replace her in my heart!
Not long before meeting Elizabeth I started a new job in public accounting where I met Jon. He worked in the Knoxville office but for a long time we didn't have much interaction with each other aside from team meetings until we got scheduled on a large client in Georgia. Once we started spending time together, we became fast friends and he even lived with me while he was waiting to close on his house in the Nashville area. It was around this time that I met Emily. Emily and Elizabeth had gone to high school together and she arrived in town about a month before Elizabeth moved to Dallas. She, Jon and I had a weekly dinner party where dessert was ALWAYS expected! :)
Jon and I both left our jobs in public accounting and I started a new job at CHS meeting both Sarah and Jayna on my first day. I quickly became friends with them both. Jayna got me started on my family's genealogy and we both got Sarah started on scrapbooking and genealogy. There was never a loss of things to talk about with these two girls around. They made going to work fun!
I met most of my best and closest friends during my time in Nashville. Memories of them and memories of Nashville are interwoven together. I think that was the hardest part about leaving. So many memories I have with so many people I love are from my time there.
To my friends and to Nashville... I will miss you all but we will see each other soon. I'm sure of it!