Three years, two apartments, one heartbreak, 200 happy hours, eight boats, 15 dates, one blog, 100 really late nights, 278 times being cut off, one tattoo, maybe five times total at the beach, one job, three lost tans, 50 empanadas, that one time at e11even, a handful of new friends, 56 times being mistaken for Hispanic, 900 mind-blowing sunsets, and one goodbye that will be my hardest one yet...
Back in 2012, I was a senior in college dreaming about taking my big dreams to the big city. I saw myself at a fancy Manhattan ad agency. I envisioned myself living off of little sleep but many dreams. I pictured a tiny apartment but a city full of opportunity. I imagined a nonexistent budget but priceless memories.
Then something crazy happened -- I fell in love. I fell hard enough that I packed up my dreams for NYC in a little part of my heart and made a choice. Even though I lied to all my family and friends that it was really for my career... I had ultimately moved for a boy (much like the author of this Thrillist article).
I then found myself in Miami -- a city I never, ever saw myself in before. It seemed like a good thing because I was crazy in love... until I wasn't. So I lost the love that had gotten me there, but I gained the opportunity to save myself and to become the best version of myself. Heartbreak was my muse, and really, it was just the beginning.
So here I was in a foreign city (country). At first, I hated it. I really, really hated it. The people weren't as kind as I was used to. I couldn't speak Spanish. I was scared to drive. Making friends was hard as hell (and don't even get me started on dating). Then, slowly, I started to fall in love with the city. But no matter how much I loved it, there was always something missing.
In truth, the life I built off of heartbreak's wake was something to be proud of... but then why wasn't I obsessed with it? I started to think, How much of a good thing is something that ceases to inspire you? What happens when you start to become uncomfortable with being comfortable? What if what I was meant to do here was already complete? Was I just stalling or wasting time?
Fast forward three years: I'm sitting at lunch with a friend talking about my five-year plan (you know, the one that changes every week). However, I found a common theme: I was always talking about leaving Miami.
So then I actually did something about it, and lo and behold the universe did everything in its power to work with me (for once). I made the decision casually over lunch on December 22nd, and got the official relocation approval by February 2nd. It went by so quickly that it feels like it must be meant to be.
I guess now that this three-year detour is nearing its end, I have to ask myself: did I make a mistake back then (you know, choosing love)? And why would I ever leave a good thing now? I think after all this time, I've finally found the answer to both of those questions:
No matter what, you have to follow your heart.
In the end, I can look back and say I am someone who truly believes in love and would do anything for it. I can say I'm someone who doesn't settle for something just because it's easy. I can say that I'm not afraid to leave something that looks perfect in the eyes of social media for something that's better in real life.
Sometimes you have to leave a good thing because (maybe, just maybe) there might be something more for you -- more ways to love, more ways to grow, and more ways to live. Because you should never let a day go by without being inspired.
And even if there isn't more, and even if it turns out to be the greatest failure of your life... you'll never know unless you try. So here I am, leaving a good thing (and following my heart) for the small chance that there's more for me somewhere in the high-rises of NYC.
Maybe this whole thing is dumb. Maybe it's naïve. But so was moving to a city strictly because I loved a boy, and look where that got me? I'd never give up the stories and adventures I've had because of it. I am proud that I am someone who follows her heart, no matter what the risk is.
In the end, I have no idea what's out there for me, but I'm enjoying being terrified to jump heart-first into the unknown to find it. Truthfully, it's kind of exciting -- you know, taking a chance on yourself for once. It's exciting to finally make your dreams come true.
Once upon a time I moved to Miami because I loved someone enough to do it. Now I'm moving to New York City because I love myself enough to give it a shot. I'll see you in the city, baby.
Read about the journey at: www.singlestrides.com