My Nashville UBER Story

My UBER Story - tifforelie

About two weeks after Kappel’s accident, I left the house for the first time. Up to that point, I was trying to re-learn very basic things like eating and sleeping. Conversations were limited to the friends who so beautifully planted themselves by my side, and they got the full, raw, completely unedited flood of everything I was thinking and feeling as it came to me. When I was ready to leave the house, I remember Uber-ing because I couldn’t be alone just yet. Everything outside my front door was a memory attached to more memories. The corner a block away with telephone pole, dented because of a goofy u-turn Kappel took only a few weeks prior, the sushi place he took me to on our last date, the church on Thompson Lane I turned left at every time I went to his house. It all hurt.

I remember calling an Uber to Sam & Zoe’s, a favorite cafe. It was my first time going out alone, and I knew the route would take me through the intersection where the accident happened. I remember deciding early on not to avoid my regular spots. Avoidance would easily become a habit and that would have made staying in Nashville impossible.

I didn’t know how I’d feel riding past Eugenia Avenue and Sidco Drive, but I was happy to be with a stranger who had no idea what I’d been through. It meant I could be silent and feel what I needed to without questions. But as we approached, I was overwhelmed. I tried hard to hold it together, but I had to say something.

Me: Can I ask a personal question?
Driver: Yes.
Me: Have you ever lost someone?

I needed to connect. I needed to know I wasn’t alone.

Driver: Yes. My brother died in a motorcycle accident last year. We were best friends.

He told me the story of the tattoo on his arm and how he got it right after his brother’s accident. It had the date of his death and a quote from their childhood.

Me: I lost someone a few weeks ago. This is the intersection where it happened.

He told me it would get better. We got to Sam & Zoe’s, he turned around and shook my hand. It meant the world to me and my heart rested.

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Over the next few months, I prompted the same conversation with every one of my Uber drivers. “Can I ask a personal question?” and then, “Have you ever lost someone?” And every one of them shared. They all opened up, and they all wanted to hear my story too. I felt so cared for by these sweet strangers and it helped heal me.

About a month ago, Uber reached out and asked me to be a part of a video project they were doing that focused on driver stories. Obviously, I said yes and told them about the love I had for my drivers and how instrumental they were in the beginning phases of my grieving process. We couldn’t believe what a perfect fit this partnership was. I was going to adventure around Nashville with a local who had been driving for a few years and learn all about them. It’s AMAZING how the company is diving into the lives of these precious people. They aren’t just drivers, they’re stunning humans with stories worth hearing.

So I met the Uber team and Jim (my driver) downtown a couple months ago. Jim was great! He was hilarious, so kind, and lives in Nashville as a musician. We shot video of our ride through the city and talked about our favorite spots and what it’s like living here as a creative. It’s really inspiring to meet someone for the first time and have nearly identical stories about the positive impact Nashville has had our lives. We also had a few of the same favorite haunts like Frothy Monkey, Village Pub, 3 Crow, and I got to share a few of mine he hadn’t visited yet!

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Village Pub! Mule Monday is our favorite.

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Fort Louise right next door to Village Pub!

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Killebrew Coffee in the lobby at the Thompson Hotel downtown!

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Cafe Roze in East Nashville!

 

Anyway, here’s the video we shot!

I hope you guys love it, I hope it inspires your own stories, and I hope it opens up some amazing conversations with YOUR drivers. This is everything I’ve been learning in a nutshell. There is so much more to every one of us if we’ll be courageous enough to let each other see it, or if we’ll be courageous enough to ask.

P.S. There’s a new feature on the Uber app I was excited to find out about called “Saved Places” which is really cool because you can basically make a little city guide for yourself and save it so you don’t have to look up your regular destinations every time you Uber. SO easy, and a feature I’ll totally be using.

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Comments

  1. Sara Allison says:

    What a wonderful story. I have found it really fascinating how easy the people behind the wheel during Uber trips have talked so easily, even allowing you to remain quiet and just listen. Thank you for sharing your story. ♥

    – Sara

  2. Nice pics 😉

  3. Victoria Saxon says:

    Tiffany, I loved your story & it reminded me of something that happened to me several years ago. My brother died (suicide). It was heart breaking, shocking and utterly world changing. I was living in Cairns (Far North Queensland, Australia) at the time (I still do) and his funeral was on The Gold Coast (Queensland) a distance of some 2000 odd kilometres (about 1200 miles) so I flew down, alone. I had hardly spoken to anyone about it, I was just too raw, and on the day of the flight I was feeling heartbroken and numb…

    The lady sitting next to me was returning to her job as General Manager of a huge Performing Arts Centre, a job that would usually entail quite a bit of air travel, unfortunately for her, she was terrified of flying. Her fear was so palpable that it allowed me to forget about my own misery for a moment, while trying to calm and distract her as best I could.

    When it became clear that she was not getting much better, I finally decided to tell her why I was flying that day… Not for sympathy, I had an ulterior motive… I told her that if she was at all religious, or even spiritual (I’m spiritual), then she must realise that this plane crashing, would be very cruel on my parents and remaining brother as my death would make it a double tragedy… And, what sort of higher power would stand by and let that happen? (I know, I know but I had to do something). Anyway, it worked. She became so intent on showering me with sympathy that she completely forget to be scared.

    When we landed she squeezed my hand and thanked me. What I didn’t realise at that moment, was I should have thanked her. By opening up to a complete stranger I allowed the grief process to begin, and from then on, I no longer felt alone. Your story reminded me of this day and the lessons I learned from it. I truly hope you can continue to talk about your loss (when you need to) and like the driver said… It does get better.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Wow. I really love this, SO much. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. It’s so incredible how love, kindness and connection destroys fear. The realization that we are truly not alone! And I love the story you told her…to be honest with you, that story would have comforted me as well. It would have convinced me that we would be safe. <3

  4. Thanks for sharing. I see the novelty of your writing, I will share it for everyone to read together. I look forward to reading many articles from you.

  5. That a good idea. Why is there so much anger and hate being reflected in these comments. I understand it is cathartic to name call, rant, vent, but it does not provide anything constructive.
    It is far more difficult to stop, listen and try to understand the opposing view, but ultimately far more rewarding!

  6. Nice post. I really love this one. Thanks for sharing this post.

  7. I love this story and your warmth is what made those guys open up, your interest in people, your curiosity in what makes them tick….. they wouldn’t have done it in front of just anyone and I’m sure no-one had ever asked them that question before, so directly. I find very few people take the time to really listen to what one has to say.

    Love your Instagram feed BTW.

    • Tiffany | offbeat + inspired says:

      Thank you so much for this sweet message. I really think everything changes when we’re willing to be vulnerable, and to show an interest in another human! <3

  8. What a wonderful story.

  9. I have read your article. it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it, again!

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