“I dreamed of going to Nashville”….Ok..I didn’t exactly dream of going to one certain place, but I didn’t plan on staying in Florida forever either. Yes, we have the beaches, the white sand, and who can forget – Disney World!
I literally sat down with my parents one afternoon in May and said, “Soooo I’m moving to Tennessee and going to transfer to the University there.”…WHAT?!! I’m pretty sure my Moms heart stopped, my Dad may have been asleep, but this sure woke him up. The questions/concerns of Why? How are you going to pay for all of this? You will be too far. Why are you changing your degree? Can’t you go somewhere in the state of Florida? After the initial shock happened – things didn’t really settle. I had already sent my information to MTSU and had to go to TN to check it all out and see where I could live, etc. Mind you, I went to school in Florida for medicine, but then got into the music business and kinda feel in love with it…even though it’s quite difficult to stay in.
I drove up to Tennessee in June and ended up staying with one of my friends from high school – who moved to TN when we graduated. She showed me around and I fell in love with, “music city“. We also looked at the school and I signed my lease for my apartment. I went back home to Florida and I’m pretty sure my parents still didn’t believe me. I ended up having to go back to Tennessee in July for a mandatory orientation with my department at MTSU and received my ID for school. Finally, everything was official!! Super excitement all around!
The rest of the summer went by pretty fast. My dad and I ended up driving to Texas in the middle of the night because my Grandmother fell ill and had heart surgery. We surprised the heck out of her! She knew my dad was coming to visit, but didn’t know I’d be there. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years – when I graduated high school. She was the only one who said, “Go for it” when I told her I wanted to move to TN. We spent a few days in Texas and then we drove back to Florida a few days before I had to leave for Tennessee. On my trip to Texas, it set in that’d I’d be far away from my parents. I talked to a few of my friends to calm me down. I was worried something would happen to my parents and I wouldn’t make it back in time if I lived in Tennessee. Let me tell ya, that feeling never goes away!
The days flew by and I packed my room up. My car was packed to the max with everything I could fit in there. I was scheduled to stay at a hotel for a few days (Opryland) and then I’d be able to move into my apartment that weekend. I was leaving Florida at 2am to get to TN by check in time. I remember saying bye to my parents and I could tell my mom was trying not to cry. She kind of avoids conversation if she’s going to. I got in my car and pulled out of the driveway and pretty much balled the whole 12 hour drive to Nashville. It was crazy to think I wouldn’t be back until a holiday break to see my friends or family. It didn’t really hit me until I moved into my apartment a few days later. I was doing everything myself and had no family or friends nearby; except Jen, but she lived a hr away. I had to deal with every situation all by myself and was scared I would do something wrong.
School began and kept me quite busy and I ended up getting a job at the Wildhorse Saloon – fun times with great people who will always be apart of my life! I went to MTSU for Public Relations in the Recording Industry with minors in Pre-Law and Management – yeah, it was a lot of work! Thank God I got into the program and graduated. During my time in school, I had so many opportunities to work great events and meet amazing people – Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, LeAnn Womack, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Reba, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, The Backstreet Boys, Luke Bryan, Brian Littrell, Aaron Carter, Nick Carter and the list goes on. Luckily, those connections have remained and I still get to work events throughout the country (CMAs, CMTs, Grammys, ACMs, etc). They never get old and no two are ever the same!
I literally went from 0-100 in a matter of 2 months. I was scared out of my mind I would fail and end up back in Florida after I graduated school, but I busted my ass off working at every event I could. I’m blessed to have an amazing job(s) and amazing co-workers who have become family to me. I could not have done it without the help of my family and friends. They get to hear about my crazy days and let me vent, thank you! I’ve met so many great people on my journey and it is still only the beginning. If these six years in Tennessee have flown by this fast and I’ve had this much fun; I cannot wait for the next six years! My life is absolutely crazy; but I love every minute of it. I have some wild and crazy stories that no one could imagine and they always get better!
Who can forget – my cousin – Kelly Clarkson…where it all began!