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My name is Erin. I am a human person with bangs. This lil' blog is where I share my musings about life and finding my way in the new city I call home...Nashville.

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On Memories and Loss

What time can do

As I was falling asleep last night, I got to thinking about this particular anniversary of 9/11 in a new way. Every year I think about my friends and I navigating the crisis as teenagers, living in the city away from our families and undoubtedly, learning to see the world through a new lens. But this year, in addition to that, I traveled down a different rabbit hole of memory and loss.

This picture shows some of the tangible 9/11 history I have held onto. A brick and broken glass from the ruined towers. The mask I had to wear because I couldn’t inhale the air around my dorm for days and days afterward. (Back home in Illinois, there are newspapers and magazine covers in my old room.) I was looking at them and got to thinking about why I even took them in the first place, and why I’ve held onto them 16 years later.

I know, without a doubt, I inherited this behavior (or strange sentimentality) from my Nana. My Nana who had a brick from a local theater that was destroyed, who kept newspapers from the great Chicago blizzard, the moon landing, and the Edward VIII/Wallis Simpson scandal. The woman who kept her ration books from WWII, golf awards from the country club, and a lock of my dad’s baby hair from his first haircut. All of those little things that made up her unique story and experience, that have since been passed down to me.

I got to thinking about the stack of letters she kept from my Grandfather, who used to travel for work and wrote to her, particularly when she was dealing with postpartum depression, though at that time, it wouldn’t have been diagnosed as such. The Grandfather I remember from my childhood was quiet, and stoic – a man of few words that could usually be found sitting in his chair, smoking a pipe or outside tending to his roses. Never once would I have imagined him sending love letters to his wife back home. I thought about how alike he and I are, with my inability to express myself the way I’d like to unless I’m writing it down. About how I still like to write and send letters in a time when communication is instant, but not necessarily easier. (This is something I shared with my other Grandpa too.)

I got to thinking about how much the people we love shape us. How much of them lives in each and every one of us, even after they’re gone. Though I witnessed 9/11 firsthand, I was fortunate not to lose anyone. But I believe that everyone who passed that day is living somewhere, in some way, in someone who loved them.

 

Inspiration, Nashville

Let’s Get Reacquainted

Nashville, it’s not you, it’s me. Really. I see myself slipping into a quiet, homebody comfort with you after seven short months, and it is completely unacceptable. You have so much to offer, and I need to be taking full advantage of everything.

Yes, I’m taking new classes, trying new restaurants, hiking new trails. It has been wonderful, but sometimes doesn’t feel like enough. I’ve got free time to fill and have started a springtime bucket list of adventures for us. (Some of them have already been checked off, but need to be revisited.) Continue reading…

Inspiration

Resolutions

new year resolutions

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. I’m terrible at keeping up with them, and the only one I’ve ever been successful with is keeping my wallet clean. (Seriously, if you ever saw it before, you’d know it needed to be done.)

This year, I’ve decided to put a couple of things on the 2017 To Do list.

  1. Write in my journal for at least 10 minutes each day
  2. Read at least one book per week

There are definitely other more, shall we say, existential resolutions to work on. Things like saying “yes” to pretty much every invitation, overcoming some of my more introverted tendencies, living with grace every day, and so on. (The list could really go on forever.) But for now, resolutions one and two are what I’m committing to.

Truth is, by attacking some of the more profound goals, I’ll have more to write about in my journal. More life experiences to relate to the books I read. Maybe realize a few more “full circle” moments. None of that sounds half bad.

2016 was a tough year for a lot of people. I know my coastal “liberal elite” friends and I have been looking to 2017 with some trepidation. Hopefully everything on my proverbial list will make this year everything I didn’t think it could be and more. I welcome the challenges, the changes, and the growth.

Hopefully this time next year I can say everything was as successful as my wallet.

 

Friendship

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

thoreau-distance

Friendships at a distance

Now that I’m settling into my new life in Nashville, the move has officially stopped feeling like a vacation. Which means “homesickness” for my friends in LA is creeping in fast. This is not the first time I’ve moved away from my closest friends. Distance is something I’m used to – whether it was leaving IL for college in NY. Leaving NY for a new life in LA. Leaving LA for a year to work in London and then leaving my awesome friends there, I should be used to it by now. But it never gets easier. I will be the first to admit that I can be terrible about keeping in touch. Several of my relationships have suffered from this, but I chalk it up to life and growing apart. The people who have always meant the most to me are still in my life, and no matter how much time passes between visits, cards, or conversations, we can always pick up right where we left off. Continue reading…