I used to live in the rearview- scribbling notes on maps so when I find myself at a familiar fork it’ll be an easier choice to make. But now I’m on the cusp of starting a third year in New York and I know that whatever fork I come across will forever be different than the last. I take with me an immeasurable amount of experience and wisdom from friends; I move with love in my veins from family, and I carry a bravery that can only be described in comparison to weakness because it doesn’t take bravery to live.
I was terrified three years ago – I feared that when I got here it would all fall down around me like a dropped curtain hiding reality. And for a while I did nothing but keep that curtain taught. My weakness was not letting go… of anything. The most important lesson I learned was to humble myself before life. I can’t expect to hold on to anything, to wait for something, or plan perfection. Life is a malleable thing and if you expect it to go South, it’ll sure as hell travel North. So why not go East?
Live now. Go. Right here while you’re still smiling. Say Yes, and damnit if you don’t want to then say No. Don’t let anyone ever tell you there’s only one way to live – not because they’re wrong, but because you have to figure that one out yourself. I have jobs where the opportunity is bigger than the pay, an apartment that stopped leaking with an overdue AC unit, and I can afford a drink every other night, but I still live paycheck-to-paycheck, pay rent month-to-month, live day-to-day and smile moment-to-moment. I’m not a success story, but I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m alive right now and still going. There is only one way to live – your way. So do it. And trust me, the world will follow.
If anyone wants to come to New York, my advice to you is to keep your arms out and your eyes open. This city is a spiderweb of relationships. If you tug hard enough we’ll all feel it. Though its goal is to eventually eat you alive, its threat is a necessary one because it takes desperation to fuel success.
One last note to the people of the world. Stop taking so many damn photographs. It’s like you’ve moved out and are constantly convincing us that you’re doing fine. If you were really that happy you wouldn’t feel the need to stop for time enough to snap, edit, tag and post. We’re still here. Come home and live it with us.