When Your Heart is in Two Places — The Aftermath of a Big Move


Since moving here last August, I have heard it said often that 100 people move to Nashville a day. I have no idea if this is accurate, but by the looks of the traffic on the roads and the number of people I meet who have just moved here? It seems plausible. This statistic (whether accurate or not) gives me comfort. It helps me to feel like I’m not alone in my feelings of newness.

Moving brings on a lot of emotions. For me, there have been high moments, low moments and a lot of in-between. Sometimes I feel like Riley in the movie Inside Out. If you were to look at my Memory Orbs they would be like hers at the end of the movie –  a complicated, swirly-whirly mixture of a multitude of colors representing all of the emotions I am feeling at once.

Even though I may have emotional moments, I have never once doubted our decision to move here. 

Nashville offers music, culture, beautiful scenery, a fantastic dose of southern hospitality, restaurants that will leave your mouth watering and so much more. There is a reason 100 people a day are making the trek to Music City. 

Even though I haven’t had doubts, that doesn’t mean I haven’t shed my fair share of tears. For the first couple of weeks when I dropped my children off at school, they cried and told me they didn’t want to go – and this broke my heart. I could feel their pain. They went from a place of familiarity and comfort to a place where they knew nobody. And that’s hard.  I would console them and wipe their tears while holding back tears of my own. 

I could relate to how they were feeling. There were some days that I longed for what we left behind. Walking into a new room where you don’t know anyone isn’t always easy (some may say it’s never easy.) I signed up to be Room Mom this year, hoping to meet some new friends. When I walked into the first Room Mom meeting and saw the ladies chatting in a familiar way, I desperately missed the comfort of the elementary school we left behind. I felt lonely. I could picture the tears rolling down my children’s faces and could empathize with how they were feeling. 

But do you know what? It may have been uncomfortable at first, but I did meet people. And so did my children. Every day seemed to get a little better (for the most part.) They began to make friends and learned how to navigate their way around the new school. And I made friends, too. Slowly, but surely those tears turned to smiles. 

We’ve had many moments like this over the course of the past months. 

Like I said before, moving evokes an incredible mixture of emotions. It is exciting, scary, unfamiliar, lonely, overwhelming, physically exhausting and can make someone like myself prone to lots of self-reflection. It also possesses an incredible amount of potential. While it is nerve-racking to start over, there is also something very cool about it. 

A while ago, my family was at a crossroads. It was very hard to leave all that was familiar and come to a new place. We cried many tears as we said goodbye to the people and the place we loved. As we piled into the car and started down the road to our future, we hoped and prayed we were making the right decision. 

And I can say with confidence now that we did make the right decision. This has grown and stretched us. It has taught us how to be uncomfortable and how to share our emotions with each other more openly and effectively. We are each a little more brave and a little more trusting. It has brought our family closer and opened our hearts to more adventure in the future. We have learned many valuable life lessons.

At times it may be hard, but more than anything it has been good. 

It still may not feel fully like home, but every day it gets closer and closer to feeling that way.

While I may miss the feeling of knowing where I am and how to get places, I am learning and can now get to few places outside of Nolensville without the help of Google Maps. While I do miss the feeling of knowing where I am, I can rest assured knowing I will eventually be able to navigate these windy roads just like I could the straight streets of Indiana. 

Like everything with moving, it just takes time. 

I miss the feeling of deep connection with friends I have known for years. I miss the history that time created in these relationships. While I have met many wonderful people, I know it takes time to develop close friendships. The great thing about moving to a place like Nashville is that most people I meet are not from here and can empathize with what it’s like to be the new girl in town. This makes meeting new friends a little less intimidating than it may be in a place that isn’t quite as transient. 

Sometimes I feel like I still have one foot in Indiana and one in Tennessee, but I can feel myself starting to slowly lift that foot and start to put down roots here. A piece of my heart will always be there, but I am learning it’s okay to let my heart love it here too. My heart is in two places.

Before we moved, many of our dear friends gave us Indiana memorabilia. The other day I was looking at a wooden sign with the state of Indiana painted on it and told my husband it was time for a Tennessee sign. 

In that moment, I knew for sure that my heart was starting to fall for this place we now call home. 

Being in limbo hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes it’s been really hard. There are lots of things I miss, but there are also lots of things about being here I love. 

I will continue to find my way around. I will start to make close friends. And I will find my favorite grocery. Our family will discover our favorite family restaurant. The kids will continue to fill their social calendars. 

We are going to make it. No, I take that back. We are going to thrive. 

It will just take time, for all of us, and time is something that cannot be rushed. 

It cannot be rushed, but it an be enjoyed. And enjoy it is exactly what I intend to do, ya’ll.

Previous articleMy Dad’s Death Shaped My Parenting Philosophy
Next articleHealthy Eating on a Budget
Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet (and sometimes a bit wild) children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability – some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken and Bar-B-Que joints in town. Life is full of ups and downs and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement to others, wherever they may find themselves in their parenting journey. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and life observations as a freelance writer and keeps a personal blog at www.trulyyoursjen.com, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Twitter and follow her on Facebook at Truly Yours Jen, Jennifer Thompson - writer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here