It's currently 11:53 pm on a cold and rainy Valentines day. I tucked myself under my white comforter topped with a faux fur electric throw blanket, and finally, I sigh with a mix of emotions, "I'm ready to write now".
I usually publish my blog on the first Monday of the month. However, this month has seen so many changes. I didn't know where to start, and if I'm honest, I've been too scared to write.
In my personal life, I only let a handful of people get close to me. I'm somewhat guarded; it takes a long time and a lot of work for me to be vulnerable to friends and loved ones. My greatest form of vulnerability is writing; it's the only way I can let someone see inside my heart and stay at a safe distance, so they don't destroy me. I was once described as peanut brittle, hard on the outside but once softened I am warm and gooey. Writing has always been a direct path to the warm and gooey.
I titled this blog "Open Heart." I'm not sure where this will take me today, my emotions are raw and probably more vulnerable than I've ever felt when writing, this could be like placing my heart out on the operating table to be cut open and completely exposed.
One month ago exactly today I landed in Nashville Tenessee to begin the adventure of a lifetime. The one I dreamed of since I was a little girl. It was the beginning of a brand new day, seeing the sunshine for the first time in a new and different light.
My Aussie friends have warned me about "the six-week meltdown". It's a total grieving of missing home and everything you've left behind. It's almost like shedding another layer of yourself, from my experience last time I had a meltdown and wrote a song in tears called "I don't believe in love" after thinking I was being guided to Nashville to fall in love. Instead, I realised I wasn't meant to find love here but instead fall in love with Nashville. Although this time is different, it's for good. I'm here, and I don't have a ticket home.
I feel like the past four weeks has been one big emotional cocktail. The first week I was here I thought seriously about buying a ticket and going straight back home. I landed in the USA with the worst jet lag I've ever experienced. I also fell sick with a sinus infection and asthma and was stuck in bed for four days, alone and feeling sorry for myself. Leaving behind potentially the love of my life, after only seeing a vision of forever and how real our relationship was when he effortlessly become a part of my family over Christmas, in our final hours.
Walking around with the heaviest of hearts, anxiety, anger at why after all these years the universe placed someone in front of me now. It makes the sweet taste of being here in Nashville so bitter.
When I turn the light switch up to turn on a light, my consciousness reminds me I'm far away from home. When I go to get in the car door on the wrong side, I am reminded I'm far away from home. When I struggle to find food my taste buds can enjoy, I am reminded I'm far away from home. When I hold a handful of coins I don't understand their value to a cashier and ask "is this enough?", I am reminded I'm far away from home. When I sit in silence feeling overwhelmed by so much change and just need someone to talk to, and the other side of the world is sleeping I am reminded I am far away from home... and I'm all alone.
I think if I'm honest, my spirit has always asked for this kind of opportunity to grow. In the moments when I feel challenged emotionally that I look back with pride and think, gosh I'm such a stronger person because of that. I know my spirit is a fighter and its resilience to keep moving forward has been my greatest badge of honour. Trusting in fate brings me so much peace in knowing that everything happens the way it is meant to, no matter how broken I feel.
On the flip side, my soul feels like it's home. I've felt full of life and topped up with inspiration, creativity and the prospect of opportunity. I have a direction and a goal that I'm getting closer to the touch.
I've been so blessed to have been introduced to the kindest man called "Mike" who runs entertainment every night at "The Row" in midtown. He puts me on almost every night I'm free, and I play for tips.
After ten years of playing 3-5 shows a week in Australia, I think I have grown so much in the last four weeks. Playing for tips, working for my money and making genuine connections with people. I've never felt so fulfilled playing shows. The first time I played my song "Trying To Get To Georgia" you could hear a pin drop in a usually rowdy room, with 8-9 people videoing on their phone. "The Row" is a tourist destination and generally selling anywhere from 2-8 cd's a night, sometimes more. I'm collecting supporters from all over the USA. I am so blessed they have now become a part of my journey.
I got myself a little Nison Versa; I call her my "Little Wed Waggon". I'm making budget most weeks. I've become the best batch cooker of soups and stews that ever was, and I'm feeling optimistic about the future.
There is the hardest working homeless guy that sells papers on Eastland Ave. I've seen him standing in the rain, standing on days when it's 30•F and his always so positive with a big smile. I don't have much money, but I slip him a few dollars whenever I see him. He's been such an inspiration to me whenever I feel far from home or a little down his there smiling and proving that no matter what challenges we have, we always have the ability to smile through it.
So despite this broken heart, anxiety from all this change and the fear of the unknown... here I am smiling through it. Because I feel so incredibly lucky to firstly have felt that kind of love despite the hurt and secondly to be living out this dream and I know I have so much support and people who believe in me, even when I don't feel strong enough to do so myself.
So here I am, throw it at me universe. Here I go, stepping up to your challenge.