Suburbs to Skyscrapers

“Picture it, Florida, 2011…” – Ok, maybe I have the Golden Girls’ theme song stuck in my head this morning! But seriously, picture it.

I had just graduated college and yet, life wasn’t the greatest. Don’t get me wrong, 2011 wasn’t a bad year altogether; I graduated (finally!), I was in love at one point in the year, I was working, albeit retail… but it wasn’t easy, either.

As the year marched on it looked more and more like we were going to lose our house, the one I grew up in. That weighed heavily on my mind and the minds of my parents. Family life wasn’t easy either, and tensions were high. Working retail, I was struggling to get by, even though I lived at home and, later in the year, worked two jobs. But compared to 2012-14, 2011 wasn’t so bad.

As I walked across the stage that hot, sunny June day (why did they make us wear black polyester gowns in summer?!), never did I even think I’d move to New York. I didn’t think of it as I saw my parents watching me graduate, or before that when I did my senior thesis show, or after graduation when I would show up to my dull tile store gig at 7am. I always hoped for something better… to get out of “Floriduhhh”, start my life, and be successful. But in 2011 I didn’t know how any of that could happen, or when.

Looking back, I had all that to go through and more – all the other events and experiences that led into 2014 – before I could restart. There were all those lessons to be learned, experiences to be had, friendships and relationships to encounter and run their course. I’m not a religious person at all, but I will say that everything happens for a reason.

If your break hasn’t happened yet, or you feel stuck, or not sure what to do next, that’s okay. I’m not saying life will give it to you – you HAVE to “show up” as I was once told – but when you take action, set intention and go for something (anything!), life will open up for you. If it doesn’t, switch focus, and try again.

That’s how I traded suburbs and cul-de-sacs for skyscrapers, pavements and opportunity.

// View of Midtown Manhattan, possibly 2015

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