BREAKING FREE: MOVING AWAY TO GROW

Woman in Maroon Shirt With Black Chain on Her Body

“Get away to grow up.”


In the year 2011, right after undergraduate school, I moved to New York City. Coming here for graduate school from Kenosha, Wisconsin was a new experience. You go from living on a rural campus to a major metropolitan hub. Yet graduate school wasn’t the only reason I decided to make the leap out on the East Coast. Another reason I chose to move to the East was because I needed to also be in a city where I could pursue my goals the best way I knew how to do so. And I also wanted to shape my identification. Growing up for me in a household where I was not only the only boy among siblings, but male in the house. And there are certain aspects of being a man that my mom and sisters don’t quite understand. So in my mind, it made perfect sense to create a whole new identity for myself and pursue my goals.

So I ask you, is there ever a moment in your life where feel you need to getaway to grow in life. Now don’t get me wrong, you are suppose to leave an environment in search of something better. Not run away from problems that you perceive to be external, but are really internal. Because internal problems only follow you wherever you go. I am referring to you having to leave because what the world has to offer you elsewhere is far too great to stay where you currently reside. And that could mean better schools, a better job, and overall better existence. For example, I come from a small city with a population of about 75,000 people. And now living in New York city, there are three to four times that many people in my Harlem neighborhood. So it has been a major leap in me getting acclimated to the city. But luckily for me, I have been here almost six years.

As for me taking the leap and living in a more open and conscious city, my mind has grown with it. So my writing has improved since leaving my small town. Now, does that mean I encourage everyone else to do the same; no. I just feel for me, the borough of Manhattan has an energy that inspires me to write everyday. Some days I will just walk around the high populated areas just to get in a mode and come back to the computer lab and write. So for you, a small town might be the place for you to push out the greatness that is inside of you. But moving away gives you a different perspective on how other people live their lives. You are given an open door into how others different from you think and feel. This may aid in your endeavors whatever they may be, to propel yourself forward in life.

In the end, moving away forces you to mature at a quicker rate than if you were at home. Because even  with a support system back home, you have to step up to the learning curve quick. For me, coming from small town Midwest and now in the Big Apple, you grow fast. If you don’t, you sink fast. The city will swallow you up and spit you out. And it is a true testament to how resilient you are in life.


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