It’s My ATLversary
How a one-way trip 6 years ago began a new season in my life
6 years ago on today (which was also a Sunday), I packed up my car, told my mom, dad, & family I loved them, and left my hometown (Baltimore, MD) to the next chapter of my life & dreams. Not realizing what would lie ahead, I was excited for what this new journey would bring. There are many lessons that stick out since I’ve been in Atlanta but I’m going to share the top 6 that still hold true.
- Change is uncomfortable but it’s needed for your growth: Yes, I was moving to stay with one of my cousin’s (temporarily) but I didn’t have any “REAL” friends in Atlanta. I didn’t know what to expect from my new co-workers. I didn’t know how my dating life would be. I was definitely uncomfortable in all capacity but I used this as motivation to grow.
- You’ll learn who really means it when they say: “Keep In Touch”: Anytime you make positive changes in your life, some people will be happy for you and other’s won’t. The first 2 years I heard so many say: “I’m coming to visit you” or “I’ll hit you up when I come to ATL”. Honestly, I started laughing then and continue to laugh now. Use your gift of discernment to take people seriously.
- Making new friends is not as hard as you think: I can be social when I want to be but I knew in order to make new friends here I would have to be open. I have some amazing friends in my life (and my circle is small) here in Atlanta that came from former co-workers, my sports buddies, and some from online. The power of connection is real and needed when you move to a new city. Making new friends was easier than I thought.
- You’ll discover more about who you “REALLY” are: Being in a new environment can allow you to really see who you are as a person. You start to dream new dreams and have new visions for you life. When I got to Atlanta, I realized I wanted to pursue my education further. I also realized I wanted to become an entrepreneur. I would not have made these discoveries if I didn’t have this new experience.
- Connecting to your new “home & community” is important: I started becoming a patron of local businesses and I started to get to know the staff/management of most of these establishments. I can share stories of my childhood, my family dynamic, and what it was like growing up in Baltimore. People love learning from experiences they might never get. It allows me to never forget where I came from but also connect to my new home.
- It’s okay to be selfish about decisions you make for “YOUR” life: I always put other’s needs before my own for years but I got to a season where I thought: “what do I want for my life?”. I love my family and my friends (and I will always have their back) but I felt like my life was craving a new adventure. I had been wanting to move to Atlanta for years but I put it off for a while but this time no more. My mother didn’t believe me when I told her I was leaving. Neither did some of friends but I did it.
These past 6 years in Atlanta have been filled with ups and downs (my father died while I was here, I got in to grad school, I had some family and friends pass away while I was here, I got a job, I left my job, I graduated with my MBA, I became an entrepreneur….basically, a lot has gone on) but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
If I can leave you with ONE takeaway, here it is……
Sometimes, we think staying comfortable in a season is for our greater good when it’s actually crippling us from living an authentic life.
If I hadn’t made that drive down I-85, I don’t know the type of woman that you would be reading from today BUT I knew that my life deserved more so I was willing at all cost to make that happen.
Change is scary. Moving is scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Staying in the same place, doing the same thing, and wishing you could have done something when you had the chance. I refuse to sing the shoulda, coulda, and woulda song. You should refuse the same.
I did it and I’ll most definitely do it again. Now, it’s your turn. It’s time for a one-way trip to begin a new season in your life.