Earlier this week, I loaded my life into a rental truck and drove back to a place I once dreamed of escaping. Whether or not I stay in the town I loathed for so many years is undetermined, but for now, I will call Nashville, TN, home again, something I never thought I’d say, even a year ago.

No place is perfect, I’ve discovered in my time away. Although I loved Louisville and its almost violent adherence to “keeping itself weird,” the town refuses to grow, leaving food deserts in its most vulnerable areas and fighting major improvements because the old, white residents don’t like change. Columbia, SC, was probably not as bad as I remember it, but it’s clouded by traumatic memories, despite its natural beauty and proximity to the beautiful beaches of Charleston. I’ve already been warned about the traffic and expensive housing that came with Nashville’s exponential growth, two things I’ve managed to experience first hand in the few days since I’ve been here.

But I’m back … a little overwhelmed with all the sudden changes in my life, but I can’t say I’m not happy. I look forward to living in a house with a friend, his adorable dog, and my two cats, to starting a new job on Tuesday, to reconnecting with old friends, and to beginning a new chapter in my life that I couldn’t have imagined or, really, even hoped for.

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