This post is long overdue, but I've been taking some time to process the change. Two weeks ago I said goodbye to this pink door, my cozy little apartment, & a city that I love. It didn't really hit me until I was in the car beginning my ten hour drive home to Dallas. That's when the tears started falling. It doesn't really matter how much I try to prepare for change because change usually doesn't hit me until it's happening.
My last four years in Nashville have been an incredible experience. It was filled with feelings of uncertainty, plenty of soul searching, finding myself, and being embraced by a wonderful community. This city really isn't as big as it seems. Somehow everybody knows everybody and although Nashville is known for music....the entrepreneurial scene is booming!
I moved to Nashville as an eager freshman in college studying Music Business. I knew from DAY ONE that Music Business wasn't the major for me, but I didn't really know what was. I was never a school person, so I'd always felt pretty lost. I would typically drown my school sorrows in a mix of creative activities like playing the piano, baking, painting, and writing....all things that are not quite the easiest to transition into a college major. But by the grace of God a few people in my freshman dorm encouraged me to try an Intro to Social Entrepreneurship class. After that things started falling into place for me. At the end of my freshman year I changed my major to Social Entrepreneurship after feeling inspired by the work of other innovative entrepreneurs using business to change the world. I fell head over heels for idea of harnessing creativity to shape business models into an avenue for making a difference.
During my sophomore year I launched my blog, The Honest Consumer. I was just writing about products I had previously purchased that had some kind of social impact. Then I started reaching out to local social entrepreneurs using business to create an impact. I would meet them for coffee & interview them. Then I would go home and write a blog post about their products and their journey. Without having a clue what I was doing, I began building an extensive network. I started going to local networking events in the Nashville area and making more connections with local change makers. I started connecting with other social entrepreneurs online by doing Skype interviews and phone calls. Before I knew it I had connections nationwide....which eventually expanded into worldwide.
While I was busy entrepreneuring...I wasn't exactly the most successful student academically. But in all honesty, I was probably learning WAY more than some of the kids in my class because I was doing. I learn best by doing. Hands on, out in the real world, in action. I was interacting with real businesses, learning from entrepreneurs' mistakes, and making myself know as The Honest Consumer. I met change makers who showed me that there is more to life than school. And it's okay that school is not my forte because I am so much more than grades and there is SO much more to learn beyond the walls of a classroom. When I accepted this and accepted that I could make a larger impact by focusing on my creative strengths, this was life changing for my self confidence. This city & this journey made me see that it's beautiful to think outside the box and empowering to love yourself for it.
While I was no where close to having straight A's...I am incredibly grateful for the college experience. By changing my major I found my passion and pushed myself to follow through and start a community. For me school was so much more than grades. It was collaboration with other creatives who are doing incredible things. It was connections and honest feedback. It was having the time to discover who I was and finding others who were on a similar journey.
I spent my LAST night in Nashville on a panel talking about ethical fashion & conscious consumerism. Funny, because I really felt like I came full circle. I came to this city with no clue. No clue about what I wanted to do or who I was, but when I left this city, I left with a passion and the incredible feeling of knowing my true self. Nashville really did give me wings and through this journey I learned how to fly. Moving to a new city and not knowing anyone pushed me to be independent. It forced me to truly find myself. And it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you EVER have the chance to move, GO. Go far away where you don't know anybody. It'll take some getting used to. It'll be scary at first, but it's an incredibly rewarding experience that can allow you to find & love yourself. I'm excited for my next move. In a few short months I'll be onto Seattle with Jake.