I've been back with you for just over year now. When I was born, you taught me many things, like how to be kind & to always have fun. You also were there for my first concert in Nashville & saw me "catch" lightning bugs at night, only to run away screaming because lightning bugs scared me as a child. You taught me that friends come in all shapes & sizes & that Cracker Barrel is good for any occasion. You were there with me for so many things, but I never really appreciated that until I had to leave you for a while.
When I left, I missed things. I missed the music & the culture & the Vols pride. I missed the crazy traffic & the people. There were so many things I missed in the six years we were apart, but I came back like I promised I would.
It's been a year since I've been back & we've had the best year of our life together so far. Whether I have been stressed or out of my mind ecstatic about something, you've been there. I've come up with a list of things we've done together in the past year, so I'm going to share them with you now.
THINGS I'VE DONE WITH TENNESSEE THIS PAST YEAR:
1. CMA Fest 2017, including getting to be filmed for national TV with Dan + Shay
2. Registered for college classes
3. Showed my Alabama friends around Nashville + my hometown
4. Was shown on national TV during the airing of CMA Fest 2017 (Dan + Shay #1 video promo)
5. Turned into a legal adult on the day of a solar eclipse
6. Started college, only to receive candidacy for my program at the end of my freshman year!
7. Volunteered at AMERICANAFEST & got to live my dream out of being an awards show seat filler, only to end up front row
8. Won free tickets to Pilgrimage Fest (where JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was performing!)
9. Went to countless concerts with artists on my bucket list (John Mayer, George Strait & Alison Krauss, just to name a few)
10. Watched new friends release their music I'm a huge fan of + support them + learn ALL the words to their songs so I can sing along to them at every show of theirs
11. Learned that I really like Five Daughters Bakery + mural hunting in Nashville
12. Found a passion for photography
13. Started an amazing job with some amazing co-workers who are great friends!
14. Got my first real snow in 6 years
15. Joined two amazing organizations on campus full of people who love + support me as both a person & an artist
16. Volunteered at CRS 2018
17. Found some incredible friends to start & end my first year of college with
18. Learned that I am pretty good driving in Nashville traffic, but every annoying driver around me gets yelled at... by me... from the safety of my car
19. Met some of my biggest influences/ inspirations in the music industry
20. Finished my first year of college
21. CMA Fest 2018
22. Had lots of fun making memories with my family
23. Had my first real Tennessee Christmas in 6 years!
24. Learned that it's okay to not say yes all the time + it's okay to be super proud of yourself for things you've done!
25. Found out more about myself than I've ever known before...& been incredibly happy about it the entire time
Tennessee, you've been super kind to me since I've come back to you, so thank you for that. Here's to us + all the future memories we will be making very soon.
"If you really love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's yours."