One year ago today, I was held at gunpoint in east Nashville. Two young, teenage, African American males used a large revolver to rob me of my wallet. I was on my way to a bar called The 5 Spot to watch a couple of bands I knew perform, and I never made it that night. It all happened at the corner of 11th and Russell in east Nashville. You can read my full written account of the events HERE.
When I walk alone to places at night, I still look over my shoulder. Before I get out of my car, I still look around first. I still remember what I felt that night a year ago, and even though it is now a far gone conclusion, I don't ever want to forget. I've always believed that our memories can make us stronger. If we choose to put them in perspective and be constructive, they can arm us for the battles ahead. Even though I wish it never happened, it helped me become who I am today, and I can only be proud of who I am now.
I shudder to think about all that I would have missed in the year that passed since then . . .
The birth of my niece Sophia
Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family
Celebrating my Mom's birthday on New Year's Eve
The feast my Mom made for me on my birthday
Watching my nephew Tyler play a perfect season with his football team to make it to the playoffs
Moving in to my adorable little aparment in downtown Nashville
Filming my coming out video to share with the world
Shooting a gun at a shooting range for the first time
Getting to spend a week in a beautiful beach house with great friends in October
Planning an adorable baby shower for a dear friend
Time spent with friends and family
The music I've written since then
Completing a full year of cello lessons
Performing for a wonderful audience at Salisbury Pride and at a few other great events and clubs
The much-needed break I gave myself from performing
Filming and creating my newest project, The Globe Sessions
The awesome books I've read
The love I've given and received
The friends I've made along the way
All in all, it's been a tremendous year full of precious and sweet moments. I am ever so thankful that my life wasn't taken away from me that night. Since then, I've returned to east Nashville on a few occassions to hang out with friends even though the place creeped me out for a while. Courage trumped my fear in the end.
I think about those two young men and where their lives might have taken them ever since their paths intersected with mine. I hope that they have both taken a turn for the better--helping themselves and others instead of causing harm. I honestly, truly hope so.
I thank God that I'm alive, and I am so grateful for the year that I've just had.
May there be many more to come.
On the night of January 28, 2011, I ventured out of my home and headed towards downtown Nashville, TN. At that point, it was a fairly cool and breezy night--a far less frigid circumstance from the strangely snow-filled winter of late. I barrelled down the I-40 around 8:30 PM with the hopes of seeing some friends of mine play a show at a small club in east Nashville called the 5 Spot. Tucked neatly inside a part of town called Five Points, this club is a part of a tapestry of bars, clubs, art galleries, and restaurants frequented by many locals and scenesters alike.
As often as I've been to this area, I'd never actually been to the 5 Spot. Parking at or near the venue was a bit of a mystery to me. So, I decided to park at my usual place-- near the corner of 11th St. and Russell just about a block down from The Pied Piper Creamery and Bongo Java. I've never once failed to find parking on this street. It was a no-brainer that put me within a five minute's lazy walk towards the venue.
I managed to nab a spot just a few feet from the corner of 11th and Russell. I got out of my car and headed north. Just as I stepped onto the sidewalk, I heard a voice say something mildly distinguishable. I turned around to find two people walking towards me. One was holding something up towards me while the other stepped ahead and moved even closer. It took me a couple of seconds to register in my mind what was happening, but there it was in plain sight.
A gun was pointed right at me within five feet of where I stood. I remember feeling my own heart beat pounding through my chest. My mind was full of panic beyond belief.
Write write write.
I don't feel like writing what happend today. It's been done. So then what can I write about?
The warmth of friends.
As I look up, I see a table full of absolutely sexy, intriguing, cool looking people. They're laughing and drinking and eating and talking. It's..warm.