Just like that, spring break has come and gone. We have now entered the second half of second semester. As a senior I am depressed, excited, morally gray, usually drunk and simultaneously hungover. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
My spring break trip to Music City was the culmination of all of those very big feelings. It was also a trip of many firsts, one of those being going to Pittsburgh the day before my flight to Nashville. That may seem ridiculous, but I was incredibly excited to venture to western PA before my trip. Like everyone else, my favorite book in high school was “Perks of Being a Wallflower”. I never knew where I wanted to go to college but when I read that book I decided on Penn State. I told my best friend this one of the first weeks we met, so when we drove through the infamous Fort Pitt Tunnel she scrambled to play the song. I started hysterically laughing because she could not remember the name of it. It was perfect.
While my trip was short-lived, it certainly was eye-opening. The first thing I learned in Nashville is that everyone on Broadway is also a depressed, northern, college student. We were all cosplaying cowboys and it was marvelous.
On my first night in Tennessee, we bar-hopped as if our lives depended on it. It Champs, it was Pickles it was everything and I was having SO much fun. At the end of the night, we stumbled into the only bar on Broadway (on our side of the street because we were drunk and not looking to explore any further) that still had a band playing. We walked into the Tin Roof, grabbed a spot at one of the very many empty tables and sat down. We were half listening to the music as we started checking the Lyft prices. Out of nowhere, this band started playing an unidentifiable country slow song. I am a bit of a baby, so hearing a really great performance and being a little drunk already had me choking up. But then, and this was the final straw, a couple marched to the front and started slow dancing.
Maybe it was the liquor, the empty bar, or even the little twinkle lights. But at this point, my new cowboy hat was placed over my face and I was silently sobbing like a heartbroken loser.
I realized at that moment that I needed more than what I was getting. About once a month, I come to this conclusion. I am ready to give up and throw my (cowboy) hat in but I always forsake this realization because what else is there in this town? This setting of college dating (if you could even call it that) made me forget that slow dancing in a bar is not a fictional hyperbolic depiction of love that only exists in movies and books written by women. This couple was my age and there they were– doing the thing we have to tell ourselves over and over again doesn’t really exist.
One of my favorite movies of all time is “When Harry Met Sally.” All I kept thinking about at that moment was that infamous line of wanting the rest of my life to start as soon as possible. I knew that when I got home I needed to cut the bullshit. In the wise words of my friend Mason, “If it’s not everything, it’s nothing.”
This is a PSA to anyone that ever goes to Nashville that if you are going to buy a cowboy hat, you will need to wear it home. This ended up being unfortunate because when it was time to go, the airport betrayed me. My flights were delayed, I was bumped from the plane with my friends and I found myself sitting alone… in a full groutfit/ cowboy hat combo… in the DC airport… for the entire day. Instead of dealing with any of the previously listed issues running through my head, I decided to use my time to listen to Morgan Wallen’s new album. The country song from the Tin Roof was my tunnel song, and I was hell-bent on finding it.
When I got back to State College I as mentally and physically exhausted. On Sunday night, I hopped into bed and was dealt a devastating blow. I called my dad for advice and was hit was the mega truth bomb of “you are better than this.” At this point I did what all of us girls do in times of crisis. I jumped on Tiktok and started mindlessly scrolling. The first video that came up was a sped up version of Jason Isabel’s (covered by Morgan Wallen) “Cover Me Up.” I had found my tunnel song. I texted my group chat and confirmed it. We celebrated and I was back. Ladies, If you’re ever wondering if it’s worth it, listen to my now-identifiable country slow song and ask yourself– would he ask you to dance? Sometimes life has a way of answering for you.
How was your spring break? DM @valleymag on instagram and tell me all about it!