Having crossed the North Carolina-Tennessee border exactly ten times since deciding to move to Nashville this past February, it seems completely appropriate to me that I should spend the next two weeks hiking the 224-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail along this shared border. The line divides my two home states: one in which I was born and spent my first three years, one in which I grew up in the twenty years following. The former where I now claim residence, the latter where my mind will always go when I hear the word “home.” Maybe, after my upcoming year of living in Nashville, Tennessee will begin to hold feelings of home. Starting tomorrow and for the next two weeks, I’ll walk that line quite literally. I’ll walk it figuratively in the next twelve months — and maybe longer; my 12-month lease is, terrifyingly, the only plan I have for my immediate or long-term future.
So here’s to the land of the long-leaf pine, and here’s to the Volunteer State. Here’s to being born in a city sought by dreamers, and for having the chance to return as a young adult overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities of young adulthood. Here’s to a lost Tar Heel finding my beat in Music City — to all the steps I’ve planned, and the unknown steps I’ll take after.