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This "I Believe In Nashville" mural is a staple in literally just about every single person's trip to Nashville (especially you, bachelorette parties). Of course, I had to take a photo in front of it as well to post to mark my two years of living in Nashville (shameless plug for you to see this post on my Instagram @patrickweaver).
It was painted after the horrific flooding in Nashville, and it's become a beacon of strength for the city. For me, the saying means a lot more than just believing that I live in literally the best city in the South and in the country. I believe that Nashville saved my life. In fact, I know that it did; and here's how I know.
1. My Friends
"Friends are the family that you choose." I have a wonderful family, and I love them more than anything in this world. But we have some major differences in the things that we believe. My friends are a direct reflection of the people that I always dreamed of being around and the people that will stand next to me on my wedding day. They always know just the right things to say, they know just what I need to hear, and they are so supportive of all my crazy, weird, and insane dreams. They're always there when I need a glass of wine, when I'm ready to scarf down brunch, when I'm feeling down and having tough days, and when I wanna shake my booty and do full splits on a bar stage. My friends keep me going when I feel like I can't go one more step.
2. My Career
My career has given me something to work towards every single day. It is something that I not only look forward to, but it allows me to set goals and is something to work hard on all the time. Anyone that knows me knows that I want to make a difference in the lives of others in my career. Working for a year at Odyssey, I realized the difference that I was making in the lives of the students I was working with. I got to not only help them express themselves every week, but also to work on setting goals, personal & professional development, and anything else they wanted guidance on in life. Now, I work to help women in corporate America and in small businesses. Gender diversity & inclusion is important to me, and now I get to help women in their careers and work with amazing corporate partners to hire more talented women!
3. My Therapy
I got to meet a few therapists in Nashville that have taught me several things about my healing process and dealing with my trauma. I am completely indebted to these people and I have never felt more passion for others to go into therapy or felt the need to support my friends that are in this profession because I know that is never an easy job. However, the normal couches and talking about how that makes me feel weren't always the best options for me to get the most out of what I needed. I needed to look inside. I need to look deep inside of myself and do a lot of self-reflecting. I began to realize that I could get this sense of "self-therapy" through working out. So I strive to work out as many days a week as I can. I began to go to CycleBar in The Gulch and I found a family of supporters there that kept me getting in and getting on a bike and encouraging me to get the most out of the workout, but also showed me how to put myself into a new mindset during the workout and how that translates into mindsets in other factors and situations outsides of that workout class.
The instructors are constantly giving you a lot of trinkets of knowledge and then end with a ride where they want you to take whatever it is outside of class that you want to leave on the bike and to do whatever you need to do to leave that stress or anxiety on that bike and walk out without it. That spin studio helped save my health, and has helped save my life!
4. City of Nashville
The entire city of Nashville helped to save my life. It's become my home and my safety zone. The diversity of the people that live in our city, the people I've met, the good food and amazing cocktails, and the endless adventures to go on in the city has kept me going. I have a lot left done to leave my mark on this city, but I am forever grateful for my Music City, USA. I believe in Nashville, and I believe it saved my live!
When you're going through trauma, or you're coming to terms with something that has happened in your life, look at where you are, look at who you are surrounding yourself with, and the things that bring you goals and challenges. Look at what you can do to help with your mental health and your physical health; the two are so intertwined and related.
I hope you all find your Nashville, wherever that may be, and that it saves your life in some kind of way like Nashville has mine!