April 10, 2013

The House That Built Me

I used to go back to 105 Long John Silver Drive in Wilmington, NC whenever I would hear Miranda Lambert sing "House That Built Me". My mind would wander back to that cul-de-sac with the ice cream man, the tree house in the neighbors backyard, and the miles and miles I used to ride on my bicycle through that neighborhood. Today in Nashville, I was packing up my house to move to our new home. I was listening to Pandora when Miranda's #1 hit came on rotation. In the middle of my tiny kitchen, filled with boxes of newspaper and casserole dishes, I dropped to the floor and started to cry. Two years ago, My husband and I loaded up our apartment, filled a moving truck with couches, curtains, and memories- and made the trip to "music city" with a promise to ourselves that we would make a living doing what we love. Two years ago, I moved into this little house in west Nashville. I moved with the feeling of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. I moved with excitement for a new life and hope for success, I also moved in the middle of a snow storm. What normally takes 12 hours in car, took three days. Even after we did get to Nashville, the moving truck was still a week late because of the snow storm. It didn't really matter because we could live without our couch and coffee table for a week- until I realized that I had packed most of my underwear in my dresser- in the moving truck!

     I started my career in this little house in west Nashville. It was the first place that I laid my head when I got to town. The first cold shower that I took after this major step forward in my life- it was cold because the water heater was already broken when we moved in- along with the toilet and washer and dryer. Sounds real welcoming, huh? But once we settled in, fixed things that were broken, and hung a few memories and curtains on the wall, things started to look up and seemed very promising for us. Today, while Miranda Lambert sang through my laptop about her dog in the backyard, her bedroom, and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine- I walked around my little house in Nashville and an empty feeling came over me. For the first time, I was sad to leave my little house. Maybe this was the house that built me. It was in the living room that I wrote my single, "Good Luck Finding Me." I sat in the leather chair with Kipp Williams and an idea. An idea for a song of heartbreak and revenge but an idea that maybe someone else in the world could relate to it too. I had no idea that when I stepped out on stage each weekend to sing it that so many familiar faces and strangers would stand there and sing it back to me, word for word, night after night. It was in the bedroom of this little house in Nashville that I laid there crying, asking God WHY he put such a crazy idea in my head- to move to an unfamiliar town with a dream with thousands of other hopefuls. It was the bed that I laid in each night to rest my bones from a weekend of hard work and playing to devoted fans. It was here, at the kitchen table that I sat practicing over and over again the songs that I would soon record on my first album. The same kitchen that I sit in now writing this blog. The bathroom mirror listened to me while I stared back repeating, "I will not give up on myself, I will not give up on my music." The windows were always there for me to look out of and dream about my friends and family back home when I needed to escape reality. It's the bedroom floor that I sat on, with my head in my hands wondering how I was going to keep going when this job got tough. It's the oven that I cooked our first meal on as a wife. It's the office that my husband sits in day after day working hard to make this dream happen for me, Calling venue after venue so that I can be heard and seen. These walls were the first hear all of the great songs that we have written. The hardwood floors have heard every laugh, every fear, every disagreement between my husband and I. It's the first house we came home to and began our life together as husband and wife back in October. This laundry room washed the miles, cigarette smoke, and the smell of bars and beer out of my clothes weekend after weekend. This is the same house that I couldn't wait to leave, to find a bigger home with more convenience, yet still couldn't wait to get back to when I'm gone and on the road.

     I hope the new family that finds this home makes as many wonderful memories here as we did. I hope these walls and rooms find them comfort through trying times and I hope there are many laughs and smiles shared here. I will always cherish my days spent on that cul-de-sac in Wilmington, North Carolina. Those long adolescent days created the adult that I am today. But 20 years from now, when I tell my now unborn babies about the time I spent in Nashville, the songs I wrote, the places that I've traveled, the honky-tonks and barstools that I sat in, my stories will always begin with the little house in west Nashville.


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