New York Magazine's The Cut recently published Why I'm Glad I Quit New York at Age 24. I was especially drawn to it because I too left the city at 24--though I realize I didn't so much quit as much as New York and I took a break. I know I'll be back. I call myself an expat (...as I recently reflected in a comment on someone's blog! If you're the blogger or know who is, please let me know), but I'm hardly set on being one forever. As such, I was struck by Sara Tolzmann's critique of Ann Friedman's words:
"The article annoyed me for many reasons, but mostly because of this ridiculous notion that a place should make you happy, or that one is entitled to happiness outright. I think one of the enlightening truths unveiled to us as adults is that you must choose happiness, no matter the circumstances. It is not giftable, earnable, or stealable. It does not come from Instagram likes, blog comments or retweets (even though these are fun.) It does not live in the future or on an unreachable ("the next thing to come") horizon line. Everything is fleeting, and finding/keeping happiness takes work because of that."Then I stumbled across How to be Home on Thought Catalog. The writer, Leslie Finlay, moved from New York to South Korea and aptly concludes that, "no matter where you go, you’re leaving behind a dependable life brimming with dependable people on dependable schedules." She nailed it, I thought to myself. That was the scariest part. The only thing scarier was settling for how stuck I had felt before leaving. And she continues with an enlightening conclusion that I couldn't have found more true:
"Because we can shift all across this planet, chase new experiences and take control of our own story, but at its core, our narrative only shifts so much. Every day we smile, plan, pursue our dreams. We drink too much, lose sleep, we turn off our phones and tune the world out to bad Netflix movies. We worry, we risk, we take the harrowing, damning chances to give all of ourselves to everything we do, to everyone we love, regardless of what we get in return."Just as we are only as stuck as we let ourselves believe, we can also find comfort in letting go of unnecessary attachments and discovering that, "home is the people who remind you of who you are." Recently, I left a comment on Breanna Rose's blog about these positive relationships: "It’s interesting how life’s ebbs and flows can bring certain friends to the forefront while others take a seat back; and mostly, I mean this in the sense of who keeps in touch and continued support, and who, just, doesn’t. Those who matter most always find a way to stick around." Trust me when I tell you not only are you not actually stuck, you've got lots of support as you work to get out of it. And hey, good news: our lives are already unraveling just as they should.