Last night I attended a great fundraising event for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center at the top of the Pinnacle Building in beautiful downtown Nashville. We’re in this nice in between warm and cold weather spot that will only last a few weeks, and it makes just about every moment outside seem magical. It was a packed house to hear Michael Burcham, Mayor Karl Dean, Congressman Jim Cooper and other civic leaders speak about backing the NEC and what it’s creation means to our city. In reality, it’s probably the most important thing to happen to Nashville since country music (you can quote me on that.) No new business means no jobs, which means no money, which means no taxes paid, which means no potholes are filled. But, that doesn’t matter anyway, because you can’t make your car payment because there are no jobs because we have no new business….or something like that.
I get a distinct feeling that some folks get what is going on here and others are still a bit in the dark, for no other reason than they are not sitting next to the coat closet at 105 Broadway (like yours truly.) It’s difficult to articulate, but I can say it’s something that is going to make a lot of people who have complained about resources, progression and growth in this area shut up. Hooray for the problem solvers for winning the battle against the critics!
All of my favorite Nashville square peg rabble-rousers and ne’er-do-well‘s are doing very well. This pleases me. I always felt that there was a pull for me to be here, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I remember the strong urge at 24 to move to New York, if anything because I was lonely on my little island of hopes and dreams. When I got there, I was so bombarded by people just like me that I found it hard to connect. It was stiflingly familiar. I guess when you are forced to trail blaze at a young age, you can’t stop and anything other than a tiny battle feels false and boring? I recall when I left New York, one of my former bosses told me that I had a great opportunity to create change and to bring all my ideas about art and life back with me to influence others. I didn’t really feel like I had that chance in Texas, but I do feel like I have that chance in Nashville. We can really shape this city to be what we want it to be, what it needs to be. In fact…we already have.
So, here I am. Sitting in Nashville in my little office, not stifled or overwhelmed, but not entirely alone, watching the change, catching the wavelength and poised to leap.