Until We Meet Again Concrete Jungle
“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” ~ Kobe Bryant
Setting out seven years ago…
Last Thursday, as I was standing in Starbucks, saying bittersweet good-byes to my caffeine dealers, “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts came on. This was New York City, not Atlanta, Georgia and it seemed especially poignant that it would be playing now. It had been one of my sister’s and my songs and the words were incredibly fitting as after seven years as a New York resident I was saying adieu….for now.
If I was wholeheartedly honest, New York and I were always on the collision course to meet. Growing up I heard stories about the Concrete Jungle. My Mom grew up only a half hour away, the strong skyline gracing the background of her backyard. It was in my blood and it had nothing to do with the fact that I shunned the New England teams of my childhood friends and went against the status quo of rooting for New York.
I KNEW some day I would call it my home. Whether it was for a year or the seven it turned out to be, I was destined to live there.
In this day and age where everyone needs a reason and is nosey to have the first bits of gossip, I felt insecurely compelled to give them that reason. I moved to New York for yoga teacher training.
But that is not what kept me there. Not by a long shot.
My life now, from then, has changed its trajectory in stunning fashion. There are times I wake up and can not believe I am that same person seven and a half years ago.
When I moved to New York I was utterly broken. To many, I didn’t appear that way, because I was an expert at keeping up the facades, but I knew if I didn’t move, I wouldn’t see the next year.
To many it appeared liked a whim, but that whim is what saved me and made me become the person I am today. I was battling an eating disorder of which I saw no hope for recovery. I was living with crippling anxiety and depression that made me self medicate with alcohol, and even then I couldn’t numb myself enough to forget.
Failures are lessons
My move to New York didn’t make me forget my problems. In some ways they became more compounded and prevalent. As a friend said, “failing in New York is like succeeding everywhere else.” There were times I failed spectacularly. One of the most ironic moments was when I was in rehab for an eating disorder, yet couldn’t afford food. I was trying to heal and recover, but didn’t have enough money for ramen.
Yet, every failure was one that I experienced in the anonymity of millions of people, judgement free. I fell, and no one gossiped or gloried in my down fall which was so different from the town I came from. In New York, everyone had a story. Everyone had failed or fallen at some point. That was and is the beauty of the Concrete Jungle.
New York made me, ME
In New York I could rise through the ashes or continue to fall. It was MY choice and NO ONE would judge me for it. I could be whoever the fuck I wanted and no one cared. We were all trying to survive the crazy New York Jungle and in that fight, was solidarity. It united us, instead of trying to divide us. We weren’t competing with each other, we were competing with ourselves.
New York shaped my twenties. I moved there, barely having just entered them, knowing nothing and It shaped and taught me lessons I didn’t even know I needed to learn. It made me strong. It gave me the confidence I so desperately needed and the independence I craved. It taught me how to love myself and how to love others. It let me delve into my dreams and pursue them not giving a damn what others might think.
It gave me a back bone, but also made me realize I didn’t need to be a hardened bitch to be strong. I could love and cherish friendships at the same time as take no shit from people. New York was and is an immersion in dealing with the dualities that is life. The highs and lows we all experience are ten fold there. New York is a city of great horrifying trauma, but it is also a city, without negating the tragedies, of great strength and resilience. The same is said for every person who has lived there. We are strong and we do persevere.
A New Chapter
Ending this particular chapter is so bittersweet. New York will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was the place that let me know it was okay to heal myself. That I was strong. That I could do anything. It taught me to follow my passions which evolved from moving there for yoga to staying there for writing and journalism, Broadway, Fashion and Fashion Week, love, friendships, and so so many opportunities and NDA’s I could make a book. (but then I might get sued, so never mind.) It opened doors to worlds and career opportunities I had only ever read about on Page Six.
It is because of those experiences and career opportunities, of which I am insanely grateful and blessed I was able to have, that make me want to pursue other endeavors. to spread my wings and not just dream, but actually do. There is so much more to see and experience in this beautifully stunning and diverse world we live in. I am a firm believer that travel is the best education one can have. Not just to learn about other countries and cultures, but to also learn more about yourself.
My soul is forever wanderlusting. The next month is one of reflection, much needed downtime after single handedly moving by myself (no small feat let me tell ya), spending time with my family, finishing the edits on my novel, as well as finalizing plans, before I jet off to write a new chapter in my continuing saga.
Change is always scary, regardless of how exciting the new adventures can be. The last couple months have been a testament to that. At times I have wanted to call the whole thing off and stay safe in New York (who woulda thunk New York would become my safety net?) But it is the fear that separates us from the dreamers and the doers. I refuse to let fear hold me back. I CHOOSE to be a doer, and I am going to go all out and chase my passions.
Until we meet again New York. <3
Have you ever moved before? How do you handle a move? How do you handle fear?