Starting Anew.

I have finally made it to Houston! After a very long and stressful 18-hour drive, I have touched down in my new home. Of course, I split the 18 hours into a few days (or weeks). My first stop was in the Music City, which is a six-hour drive from Columbus. Honestly, I did not have high expectations for my time in Nashville, but I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I always associated the people of Nashville with their love for county music and cow boy boots (or so it seems per TV shows and movies), and am grateful to have been proven wrong. How judgmental and misguided of me, right? Nashville is a very diverse city. I had many experiences while in Nashville that opened my eyes to the truth. I fell in love with the city, the food, and the hospitality shown by the people I met.

I stayed with Ashley in her new place. She had many amenities that I could use while she was at work. I started working out again yall, and it felt so good to be back in the gym!

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I also took advantage of the pool. I laid on the cabana bed by the pool, reading, for hours each day.

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We had a pool party/cookout with Ash’s circle of friends the first week. The pool party was one of the highlights of my trip. Anytime there’s a group of black millennials, drinks, and music, its bound to be a great time.

The pool party craziness started when Ash and I decided to surprise everyone with water balloons. We thought we were going to be the culprits but ended up being the victims to individuals with great aim.I literally have the war wounds to prove it because I fell multiple times trying to run away. People were even catching the balloons I was throwing, and throwing them back at me. I did land a few balloons though.

Her place was close to almost everything we did while I was there, which was a big plus. There was a restaurant called Calypso Café that we visited. It was A-MA-ZING. When we went there for dinner, I got the callaloo, Cuban black beans, and spiced rice with a side of fruit. The fruit was fresh as hell yall. It was so juicy and sweet. I literally bit into the cantaloupe and juice started running down my lips. Everything else was cooked and spiced very well. The portions seemed as if they were for two people so Ash and I shared all our food, and the entire meal was only $7. I was amazed and extremely satisfied. If you’re a new Vegetarian/Vegan in Nashville and would like to try tasty meatless meals that will not break the bank, you should visit Calypso Café.

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Otaku Ramen is another place that we had dinner while I was in Nashville. It was both of our first time trying Ramen and it was bomb! My Ramen was supposed to just come with mushrooms and brussels sprouts. Since I do not eat mushrooms, our server got the cook to load my Ramen with all of the veggies they had which consisted of roasted corn, bean sprouts, brussels sprouts, green onions, pickled red onions, and a flavorful veggie broth. Chillddddddd! I could not stop slurping those noodles. Needless to say, we were extremely satisfied with our meals, and would definitely recommend Otaku!

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We participated in night life events a few times. I was so obsessed with going to a Reggae club, but unfortunately we could not find one that looked promising.

We did visit The Wknd and Clydes on ChurchThe Wknd is a lounge that has a really cool and chill vibe; it has a kitchen and a Hookah area. The drinks were inexpensive and strong. Clydes is a restaraunt/bar that also has games such as giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, Ping Pong, Shuffle Board, Foosball, etc.

Our visit to Clydes was also one of the highlights of my time in Nashville. The night we visited Clydes was very impromptu and exciting. It started at Ash’s; she invited some of her friends over and we played “Pregame.” People swore they knew an entire person’s life based on their answers during this game. I laughed the entire time, and was so grateful for their energy. There was not one dull moment. After the game we headed to the Wknd then to Clydes. We drank tequila shots and played the games that were offered. My teammate and I lost in Shuffleboard, but we dominated in ping pong! After Clydes, we ended up at Tarboosh Hookah Lounge because it stayed open later than everything else and we were not ready to end the night. Tarboosh played great music and people were still in there turning up, and it was well past 2:00 am.

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Nashville was lit. Not only was every venue we visited startlingly impressive, but the company we had, and the conversation that was sparked was incredible. I definitely needed that night to be reminded of my own vivaciousness.

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One of my last days in Nashville was spent hiking and swimming at the breathtaking Cummins Falls. It was a blessing to be able to visit such a peaceful and natural environment. Everyone we came into contact with while hiking gave off this carefree vibe. They seemed to be engrossed in the moment, making memories with their loved ones. We stayed out so late the night before that we could have decided to skip the trip to the falls, but I am glad we stuck to our plan and gained the experience.

At one point, once we got to the top of the waterfall, I stood under the water with my arms up, took a deep breath and released. I actually felt my body relax. My shoulders felt unweighted. My breathing was slower. I felt the water on my fingertips. I closed my eyes and smiled and thanked God for that moment.


 

I left Nashville feeling rejuvenated. Nashville reminded me of my light, and that everything in life does not have to be so heavy. My time there was filled with mindful pleasure. I was aware of how often I smiled. I was reminded of the importance of consciously enjoying myself and my company.  Its nice that I had that adventure right before starting anew in Houston. I feel fresh, excited, and ready for all Houston has to give.

If you take anything from this post, I hope it is the importance of not taking life too seriously. So often we get caught up in making sure we are doing everything to be successful or to figure out our life’s purpose. We are checking off our life to do lists and steady pushing for the future. We have to remember, though, to take a few self care days. Do something you really love, or try something new. Its alright to let your hair down sometimes.

I’m glad I was able to do that in Nashville, and I thank God for the people I was able to do it with.

xoxo,

Sandra Renee

 

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