I told myself to resist posting a lengthy goodbye, that not every farewell is a cause for fanfare. But that’s silly—I don’t actually believe you should close a chapter without showing your gratitude for what it taught you. It’s how you embrace that an ending and a beginning are two sides of the same page. Tear said page from the book and the chapters will meld together in a non-sensical way, creating a disjointed story that surely won’t win you any new readers...
The New York I left today is not the New York I arrived to. The one now, filled with friendships, career achievements, and landings of faith, is hardest to leave because I did it: I. Made. It. I faced my fears, fought through loneliness, dared to dream—and not just dream, but do something about my dreams, too. Four years ago, that was not my New York. That New York was an ocean; I, an ever-terrible swimmer, longing to find the reason why I listened to the nagging feeling that I needed to be there, without a lifevest or any other sign it was going to be okay. Because for a while, it wasn’t okay. Maybe even for a year, it wasn’t okay. I was broke. I rented an apartment I could afford only if I didn’t ever leave it, not even for a $2.50 subway swipe (the price has since increased—this should come as a surprise to no one). When I did leave my apartment, I often didn’t have any place to journey to... except to a job I hated. As for those landings of faith–they started as leaps, but at that time leaping felt a lot more like falling.
That year was a lesson in loneliness. It established the glass foundation that I kept around to peak down into, to serve as a reminder that I never wanted to descend that low again.
Each step up and away from that year became a win. I made a friend, then two, then four. I started a side business. I won a client, then two, then more.
Then I quit the job I hated, and pursued the one I loved.
Day by day, the vision I had for my life came together. Pretty soon I had the full, thriving life I had come to New York for. I’d done it—I’d made it happen with my own two hands.
Climbing into the sky, up above the city I leave today, I see the New York that I not only made, but the one that made me. I see that starting something new doesn’t always mean starting over. Each chapter needs one to precede it. Like all great stories, life moves in only one direction: forward.