Next week I’m leaving Atlanta and moving to New York.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write this. I wanted so badly to be eloquent and profound, but I’ve struggled to find the words to describe this moment accurately.
In a lot of ways, post-graduate life has felt a lot like sitting on the sticky floor of a suburban Walmart… like a toddler straying a little too far from his anchor; so overwhelmed by his lostness the only thing he can do is hide in a rack of cheap graphic-tees and wait to be found.
But I’ve since realized, my problem wasn’t feeling lost, it was feeling like I shouldn’t be.
In my pursuit of a meaningful life, one where I never felt lost, I analyzed every aspect of myself and the world around me. I wanted to ensure a perfect future, one devoid of pain. Yet, in my angsty attempt to create that, I spent a lot of time missing out on the present… forgetting the future is built on the decisions we make every day to thrive.
There's a laundry list of reasons why I'm moving to New York, but the most important one is it feels a lot like thriving.
Aside from freelance work, I don’t have a job, just a one-way ticket to LaGuardia (the airport equivalent to a Bud Light-sponsored Nickleback concert), a slowly depleting savings account, a short-term lease in Brooklyn, and a checked bag full of J.Crew clothes I haven’t worn since college.
I don’t know what’s next, but instead of that being scary, it’s exciting. Because, despite the challenges of the last three years, in the midst of all the transition and change, I’ve discovered I have so many people on my team. I have a family who loves me, fierce friends who support me, and a cat that likes me sometimes. Thus, regardless of what happens in New York, or anywhere else life takes me in the world, Atlanta is home, and it always will be.
It feels fitting to move to New York City and begin a new chapter the day after Easter–a holiday marking the end of Lent–the pensive season celebrated by the Church for millennia and defined by wondering, doubting, and all the pains of waiting.
While there's a lot that remains unclear, I think the most significant part of growing up is realizing from where your courage comes. Uncertainty doesn’t have to be your identity; you can not know where you’re going and still know who you are.
So, here’s to 26 - to no healthcare and new adventures; overpriced coffee and Brooklyn bodegas.
Here’s to feeling a little bit lost but a little bit free.
See you soon, Manhattan.