• Taryn Shaffer

What Happened When I Came To Nashville, & Why I'm Staying:

"The moment you become complacent is the moment you are no longer living. What a scary thought, to be the navigator of your life and yet choose to set it on auto pilot."

-Taryn


At the beginning of the year, I told myself I was going to move. After living in TX my whole life, it felt as though everything was just this mundane loop. Having conversations with students I taught half my age, it hit me that there was so little I had done. There were kids, people my age, all of which who had seen more places than I could imagine. It wasn't until I was 27, that I even left TX for the first time! Yet I had students telling me about playing volleyball overseas.



In my journal I wrote down two distinct states: Colorado & Tennessee. Both of which I knew nothing about, but I at least had a friend in each. Now let's also point out, I am the MOST indecisive person I know. (Yes, it bothers me just as much as you!) While in my heart I wanted to move, to be that person who said here I go, packs the car, and just leaves...my head wouldn't let me.


Common thoughts that went through my mind:

  • What would I do for work?

  • Where would I stay?

  • What would my friends think?

  • Would I miss home?

  • Am I bat sh*t crazy?


My solution, at least take a vacation to each state. As you read in my other posts, I went to Colorado in April and then in May. It's an AMAZING state. The views, the hikes, obviously my good friend was there, yet for some reason aside from the fear in my mind it didn't feel right. Lately, I have been very much a lead with my gut person. If it wasn't a HECK YES, then it was a HECK NO.


Then I booked a trip on a whim during July 4th to Tennessee. (Side note, I was actually supposed to go after my birthday the weather just didn't agree). Side side note- the fireworks here are LEGIT. Plus I saw Brett Eldridge again.. need I say more?


While here those few days, I did the typical tourist things. Stephanie took me to an AMAZING doughnut shop, we did the photos by the murals, met two other amazing girls. One non stop adventure, and the scenery is just as gorgeous. Hills, trees, picket fences, and the cutest historic downtown feel when going through Franklin. I was only here for 4 days, and yet felt like I fit in. It was a feeling of, "Wow I don't want to leave". The morning before I was supposed to leave, I made a joke to Steph. I told her, "If I found a job, I wouldn't think twice about coming here". Little did I know that would happen sooner than I thought.





I was home for barely a week, before coming back to TN. While here, I landed an interview, and was offered a job before heading back home a second time. Now being big on gut feelings, the emotions I felt where all over. To me it was crazy. When I contemplated Colorado, I applied for jobs with the same thought process. If I got a job, why not take a risk? Except, Colorado led to nothing..and Tennessee had an opportunity I couldn't have imagined. I returned home for the second time from TN on a Thursday, and the next morning started the 11 hour drive that led to where I now call home.



It's been officially about 11 days. 11 days of feeling like I have turned my whole world upside down. 11 days of wondering what did I just do? 11 days of feeling braver than ever. In fact even my mom was shocked I really did it, but to also have her say she was proud means a lot.


Here are my tips for anyone making a giant more or contemplating it:

  • Does it excite you?

  • Are you in a situation where you can? (single, no kids, etc..)

  • Is the reason you're scared due to a lack mindset?

  • Would you regret it if you didn't take the chance?

  • You can always go back home.

  • Give yourself a year to see if you like it, 3 months to feel like you're settled.

  • Join a gym, church, yoga studio, something with like minded people to make friends.

  • Get a dog, well if you have time. What a good way to have a companion, and have to go out more.

Just know that all the feelings of fear, doubt, being homesick, panic, excitement, it's all NORMAL. If you're going from complete comfort, to very much out of everything you're used to it's expected. Honestly though, I am a firm believer in we grow most from doing bold things. Take the risk, believe in yourself, do something that lights you up.


Also within the first week of being here, I made two tattoo additions. Thanks to Victory Tattoo.


 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

For this next chapter and adventure in my life it felt fitting.


-Taryn.


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