What Relocating 8 Times Taught Me
The core of who you are and what you want in this world is what matters most
I moved away from New York this week. For those that know me, you know that New York had been a difficult place for me to live these past two years. Moving for work isn’t a new thing. Fun fact, I have relocated eight times over the past ten years for work opportunities.
Each time I have had the fantastic opportunity to learn new cultures, meet incredible people, and evolve unapologetically. It is incredible what removing historical experiences can do for one’s courage.
I became a writer overnight in New York. I introduced myself as one, and no one knew any better and never questioned my talent. This is what I call the clean slate effect. Relocation can be freeing in this way, a person (like myself) can reinvent who they are and grow at tremendous speed without anyone turning and saying, “I thought you hated that.” No one knows so. Therefore, you are free to roam about the world as the newest version of yourself.
My last couple of days in New York, I was walking with a recently adopted new friend. She had just moved from Nashville and wondered about my experience in the city.
She asked, “How long did it take New York to feel like home for you?”
…I answered with this:
“New York may never feel like home, at least not for me. For me, it was never really supposed to feel that way. New York didn’t introduce me to many memories; New York DID introduce me to parts of myself I had never encountered before. Living here is hard, but it teaches you at the core, who you really are.”
New York can be loud and mysterious. The place is filled with chaos and adrenaline. The city isn’t comfortable or kind, but it pushes you. The people are not welcoming nor are they genuine, but their cold demeanor makes you realize how important humility and kindness can be. The housing isn’t great, but that is why other cute towns on the east coast exist.
New York is a wild time because it really shows you who you are. In that way, it is different than any place I have ever lived before.
What I learned after eight moves in ten years is that the core of who you are and what you want in this world is what matters most in this short life we live.