It’s been exactly one year since my family has been in Nashville. This year has been absolutely insane, by far the craziest year of my life. I’m ready to open up about it.
Soon after our twins were born, Chelsea (wifey) found out that her company was going to be expanding to Nashville, TN. This was very exciting news to our family. Chelsea was always open with the higher ups that if Nashville was ever on the table, she wanted to be there. Hell, her sister and brother lived across the street from each other and who could blame her for wanting to be closer to family. We were on an island in Atlanta, a city I’ll talk more about soon.
Full disclosure, I was not excited about the prospect of moving to the Volunteer State. I had a secure job in Atlanta, teaching/coaching and starting to reach some goals I’ve always strived for. We also had a plethora of friends in ATL. I wasn’t ready to leave the life we built. On the other hand, living close to loved ones did excite me. So the journey began.
Our first hurdle was what to do with the kids. Do they stay back in Atlanta with me while I finish the school year? I’d need a daily nanny. Brutal. Or we could do what we ultimately decided was the right move, send them off to Tennessee. Thank God Chelsea’s mom Cindy is a frickin saint and offered her services to be the primary caregiver to our kids until I came home for good.
Off the bat we knew that Chelsea would be starting here in Music City in early March of 2018. The next big issue is where the hell are we going to live. In an utterly serendipitous series of events, we ended up purchasing the house next door to Chelsea’s brother and about four houses away from her sister. It was one of those things that seemed too good to be true, but it wasn’t.
Atlanta wasn’t completely done with me, though. The exact same day we packed the house and the moving truck came, the basketball team I was coaching was playing in the State Championship game at Georgia Tech. That game ended up being a metaphor for my personal life experiences. I was excited we were playing in the Championship and excited for the move. I was devastated when we lost the game and that closure started making me realize what I was leaving behind. I was anxious about never coaching again and the possibilities that lie ahead of me in a new city. Most of all I was focused, juggling this coaching life and moving a family really tests a man’s mental fortitude.
Those last few months finishing the school year were merciless. For everyone. Chelsea was essentially a single parent and starting a new super important and stressful job. Cindy was dealing with a crazy 3 year old and even crazier twin babies that needed constant attention. I was driving back and forth every weekend to see my family. I couldn’t wait until the end of May to get here.
Like many things in life, when you’re in the moment, things feel more important than they feel when looking back on them. The school year finally did end and my personal Nashville campaign began. The plan was for me to come here and be a stay at home dad (SAHD) until my kids were all in school. At that point I would restart my teaching career. Then my stupid brain got involved.
As the summer went on and the fall approached I had this overwhelming fear that staying at home wasn’t the right thing to do. After all, I’m the man of the house and I should be bringing some bread in. So I started looking for jobs, something Chelsea fully supported from the beginning. After getting zero call backs from my first few applications, my competitive spirit kicked in. I knew I was a badass teacher and coach and it felt like no one wanted me. At first.
Then I found a Physical Education and Football Coach opening on the outskirts of Nashville. I nailed the interview and was offered the job on the spot. Perfect! I even starting coaching the team before the school year. Then the meetings started. I learned at one of these new teacher meetings that the school district I was in still used the paddle. Yes, corporal punishment. Something I’m strongly against. Not to mention I started fearing that I was losing out on precious moments with my kiddos. After some back and forth with administration and my super supportive family, I decided to split. So now I’m a failure and even more in my own head.
Literally the next day a friend of mine who is a Principal at a school downtown had a Physical Education opening a few days before school started. The pay was better, it was close to Chelsea’s work (carpool time!), and in a school district I thought was a better fit for me. I jumped all over it. Ended up being big mistake. Let’s just say the kids at this school were more challenging than I imagined. To say I was losing sleep about facing the next school day is an understatement. The anxiety consumed me. Am I doing the right thing? Are my kids happier with a nanny than their own dad? Am I being the best teacher, husband, and father I can be? The answer to all these questions was overwhelmingly no. I didn’t want to be there, it felt unfair to my family, my coworkers, and more importantly my students. They deserved better. So I split… again.
Now we are in October and I’m jobless, I’ve burned bridges with two school districts, and quite frankly I was lost. The only thing I knew for sure is I was going to focus on being the best dad I could be. I’ll always do that. My goal from that point on was to concentrate on my new “career” as a SAHD and let everything else just play out.
That’s when the podcast idea popped up. My best friend and biggest supporter, Jeff, was also a SAHD. We spent countless nights toward the end of 2018 in his garage after the kids were asleep. Now we have something even more in common. Our conversations ranged everywhere from serious life altering contemplations to knee slappin’ laugh filled comedic quips. I always thought, “Man I wish other people could hear some of this stuff!” Lightbulb! Let’s let them hear it. Podcast time. We spent the better part of November and December coming up with segment ideas, podcast names, and doing practice recordings. Having a creative outlet literally changed my life. Despite the realistic fact that there’s a good chance no one will care or listen to our pod, it got me super excited. I had never been happier.
So here we are now. A year later.
The family is in a great spot. My wife loves her job. Our kids have cousins for playmates. We see family daily. It was a rough start to our experience here in a new state but it feels like we are better now (shoutout Post Malone). I don’t think my family’s overall vibe has ever been better.
As for the podcast, it’s actually performing better than our original expectations. In the four months since our release date we have accomplished some pretty insane stuff. Our listens are at least 10 times what we thought we’d get. People are actually excited to come on the show to get interviewed. Breweries are reaching out to us to drink their beer. Media outlets are writing articles about us. Our growth is steady. Sponsorships are a realistic thing in the near future. In a word it’s been surreal.
If you have read this far, you’re probably thinking to yourself that this Coach dude is super narcissistic for thinking people care enough to read this much about his life. You’re right. I think some people read this whole thing. Maybe they just wanted a break from their own life and decided to jump into mine for a second. You may also be thinking, why would this guy put all his business out there like that. It might sound corny as hell but I know there is someone reading right now that’s not where they want to be. I’ve been there. Life is stupidly hard. Maybe this gives someone faith that someday they WILL be where they want to be.
This last year has taught me a lot but really there has been one huge lesson. Nothing in life is permanent. You might love your life now, the next moment life slaps you. You might feel stuck doing something or feeling something you don’t like right now, then life lifts you up. Both have happened to me in major ways in the last year.
It’s been a wild first year here in Smashville for me and my family. Makes me wonder what this next year will have in store for us…