In September, I spent a weekend in Brooklyn. It was one of the best weekends of my life.
I was meeting one of my good friends in real life for the first time. (2021, am I right?)
For years, I’ve been one of those folks who says, “New York is a great place to visit, but I could never live there.” That weekend proved me wrong. And now, when my current lease is up in October, I’ll be moving there.
1) The opportunity.
In 24 hours in NYC, I…
• scheduled two coaching sessions with strangers (one of whom became a client)
• played chess hustlers in Washington Square Park
• saw Seth Meyers walking with his son (his calves are tremendous)
• declined cocaine from the CFO of a major magazine company
• bowled with one of my new best buds
• ate mushroom chocolate in the apartment of someone I had only met that night
All that to say…there’s plenty to do.
After connecting and setting up my second coaching session, I thought, Wow, my business would thrive here.
Everyone in NYC is pursuing something. They’re looking to create exciting and rewarding lives. My kind of people.
They also probably have money. After three minutes of research, I can confidently confirm the expensive stereotype of New York City.
Aside from the professional aspects, I saw more culture and diversity in two hours than I have in any of my previous travels or books read.
People of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Any type of cuisine. Parents yelling at their children in languages I’ve never heard. I have no idea what country that mom was from but holy fuck was she giving it to that kid.
On top of that, there are a zillion comedy clubs and venues to drop into for a night of entertainment.
Being hosted by an actual New Yorker made all this more enjoyable. I wasn’t a tourist traveling with other tourists. I was immersed.
2) The adventure.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sticking around one’s hometown. I’ve been in Maryland practically my whole life.
But there are certain things we can only achieve by exploring somewhere else—away from the comfort of what we’re familiar with.
We learn what we’re made of. We learn how to make friends and build a community from scratch. We experience a different way of being.
I learned more about myself in my one year in Germany than I did in the previous 20 in the states.
It’s also hard to deny the comparison game. We see friends moving to cool cities or foreign countries and it can feel like we’re doing something wrong by staying put. I’ve certainly felt this.
Anyway, I’ve been down to try out a new place for years, but never felt I had the life skills or stability to make it happen the way I wanted.
I thought about moving a few years ago. But, working in a restaurant, I didn’t want to move to Colorado just to work at a different restaurant. I wanted things to change internally first. (Not judging anyone who has done this. It’s just not what I wanted to do.)
Now, I have a career I’m skilled in and proud of that I can take anywhere. I have a good friend I can be neighbors with in Brooklyn. And most importantly, I know what my values are and I know how to take good care of my physical and mental health.
3) It scares me.
I’m also actually NOT ready. And that’s the point.
Walking around the city, I was in awe. It was like I was in a museum, staring at the buildings and the crowds of people.
I was also anxious.
Everywhere I went, I felt like I was going to be late for something. It was exhilarating. I both loved and resented the fast-paced nature of the city. Stillness didn’t seem to be the prevailing vibe. It was unfamiliar and uncomfortable to me…and I loved that.
Even after I got home from that weekend, I could feel the go-getter nature still pulsating through my veins. I wanted to work. I wanted to do things.
Every single morning in 2021, I’ve written the affirmation: “I love doing scary things.”
One of the biggest areas of growth I’ve experienced this year has been pursuing things that terrify me. I fucking went for it.
I started a business with no Plan B. I flew to another country to pursue a relationship. I put myself out there in ways I couldn’t comprehend two years ago.
In other words, I’ve leveled up tremendously. The only way to level up is to do scary things until they aren’t scary anymore. Then there’s a new level of scary things. And so on.
This is the next level for me. Leaving my home and going to a scary, unfamiliar place.
Again, I’m ready. And I’m not.
So let’s do it.