What I Learned From A Short Vacation In New York

Whole VMG squad before Logic’s Comic Con panel

As I sit in the backseat of my ride to the airport, I can’t help but reflect on the short weekend I had in New York. Strange enough, heading to JFK feels a lot like it would in Seattle. It’s raining and that’s a staple of my hometown, almost like it knows I’m coming back so let’s ease back into reality slowly. I’ve had a lot of growing issues with Seattle this year, and going to NY all but confirmed what’s about to happen next.

Saying goodbye is never easy. I’ve wanted to be resistant. Part of me could see myself having a family in Seattle with someone I really felt connected to before the summer drove us apart. I fought hard with every job application I filled out. The feeling when I finally got an interview with CBS Radio was surreal. I had to gush about it on social media, it was one of the most important moments of the year. Despite having an impressive interview, I didn’t get the job, and thus sealed my fate on having to leave. It’s bittersweet. I’m currently in the anger stage questioning how my talents, drive and passion can be overlooked. Knowing no company has an opportunity for you in your own city is sobering.

Honestly, there’s no guarantee of an opportunity anywhere. In the first episode of Atlanta, Earnest, played by Childish Gambino, is on a bus and said something that resonated with me. “I just keep losing,” he tells a stranger sitting next to him. “I mean, some people just supposed to lose just for balance on Earth.” Is that statement true? Throughout my writing career, I’ve always had small victories that added up, and it made sense that I was progressing at a sluggish rate. That was fine when I was 20 and in school, but I’m 25 and have had a degree for a year and a half. I’ve written a lot about my depression and how it could get the best of me in the past. Earnest’s words remind me of who I felt like, but don’t represent where my head is at now.

When I was in New York, I felt so inspired. The contrast compared to Seattle was gigantic. I was out and about each day, not just sitting at my laptop and being a hermit like I do when I’m home. Being surrounded by successful, positive individuals helped, too. I love Logic’s views on life and how he maintains this sense of being himself. Chris Zarou and Harrison Remler, both at VMG, are some of the hardest workers I know, so seeing them work first-hand let me know that I need to do more. Who knows when I’ll move, but I need to make the most of the time I have left in Seattle. That was one of my biggest takeaways from traveling to New York.

Another important aspect I wanted to answer was if I could actually see myself living in NY. Last year, I was in a long-distance relationship and felt like I could move to Miami one day…until I realized that little lizards roam the streets and get into your house. I thought it couldn’t get worse than a spider. It could. How do you even kill a lizard? Even more crazy is people don’t care that they’re in the home. (That’s totally not the reason, but it was a lingering thought). With NY, you hear how common rats are and how crappy the subway system is. All my fears were put to rest. I didn’t see a single rat, and the subway was simple and fast.

Besides a lack of sleep, I have no complaints about New York. It was an eye-opening experience that only further lights the fire under me to make it out there. As I always say toward the end of these personal essays, I have no idea where my life is headed. I just work and fill out applications until someone sees the value in me. The big difference with this essay is I don’t feel depressed. Yes, I’m unemployed after leaving my seasonal job. But I had to take a deep look at my life and realize I can’t let money control me. The weight of student loans and other expenses hurt my creativity, so I vowed to stop paying attention as much as possible. I want to enjoy my life and leave a lasting legacy one day. You can’t do that if all you focus on is money. It’s the root of all evil for a reason.

My final thoughts are to find out the person you are when you surround yourself with creative minds. In three days, I noticed change in how I acted in New York vs. how I am in Seattle. It’s like a teaser of what can happen. What can be achieved if I’m in this circle more often. The feeling is a natural high, one that I intend to chase and hold onto for many years to come. I recommend you do the same, too.

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