8 years, 6 months, 1 days.
I moved to Nashville 8 years, 6 months, and 1 day ago. I spent the first night with my parents at the Comfort Inn Downtown Nashville/Vanderbilt on Demonbreun Street. At that time I didn't know how to pronounce Demonbreun or barely where I was in relation to campus. We woke up early the next day on August 22, 2009 - a Saturday - to start move-in weekend at Vanderbilt. It was an incredible day and over the course of the next 4 years I gained an incredible education and a number of lifelong friends.
After undergrad, I started grad school but fairly quickly realized it wasn't quite for me (I'm sure I'll try again later...) and started working full-time for Optio Labs, which I had worked with previously as an undergrad. There, I made more lifelong friends (and friends of those friends!) and learned a lot about cybersecurity, software engineering, and teamwork. I also splurged once and bought a used Porsche Boxster I found while taking a 10 minute break at work one day, which I regret selling to this day. Aside from that, I lived in a cool apartment in 12 South and dated someone that I originally met while studying abroad as an undergrad. She and I eventually broke up, and I may have complained about the job a few times, but ultimately I would not give up any single experience during those chapters of my life.
Eventually I changed jobs and started working as a remote engineer for a SF-based company. I also started dating someone new who I met within my first week of using a dating app - didn't see that one coming! A short few months later I bought a house in this up-and-coming neighborhood called The Nations for a decent bit more than I originally planned to spend, which was a bit worrying, but the neighborhood had so much potential so I went for it anyway. Since then, I've switched jobs a few times and made plenty of new friends at those, both on the engineering teams and from working across from tons of other extremely interesting people. I've also made other various friends - neighbors, friends of friends, and occasionally random people I've met out at bars, parties, and events in this vibrant city!
All good things have to come to an end at some point, and some doors have to close in order to open new ones. I decided to close my consulting company about 2 months ago for good, as the underlying focus was not sustainable. I had a very hard conversation (definitely the hardest I've ever had) with myself and others, and eventually broke up with an incredible person I had been dating for several years. I also decided to sell my house here in Nashville to move to New York City, where I've tried to move unsuccessfully for the last 5 years. It took the absolute biggest all-in jump I've ever taken in my life, and I've definitely underestimated the emotional capacity I have for change/stress (thanks to all of you, friends, who have helped me through all/any of that).
All of that just said - I'm extremely excited for the new things to come. I have about 8 days left in Nashville (mostly March 3 to 9) and it really overwhelmed me today, so I felt compelled to write out some kind of note detailing all of the things I'm happy for.