"Stop letting fear paralyze you." I remember sitting in my cubical, surfing the web and reading blogs when I came across this quote. This quote really uplifted my spirit. First off, I wasn't suppose to be surfing the web reading blogs, but I hated my job so much that I couldn't focus on what was in front of me.
Every second of the day I was on my iPhone researching and reading about young influential girl bosses and how they took a leap of faith and made it happen. I knew this current job (Corporate IT) wasn't my passion, but hey it paid the bills and rent for my studio apartment. I was blessed to be able to do all of this at age 22 but something was still missing. I've always wanted to move to Atlanta, GA. I was inspired by so many young black girl bosses flourishing in their 20's and even 30's who live in Atlanta. There was something about this city that has never left my heart.
Growing up in Newark and Jersey City was my comfort zone. I tested the waters senior year of high school by applying to almost every college out of state. I've always wanted to explore states outside of Jersey and college was my chance. Although my loving grandmother was always so afraid for me to leave the nest, mommy and daddy encouraged me to go out and do what they never got to experience. I took that risk and had some of the best experiences at my HBCU Virginia State University.
Moving back to Jersey after college was the biggest mistake! I never really wanted to return home, but I had no job and retreated into my comfort zone. After being home for a year realizing this is not the life I planned after college and going through severe depression, I decided to focus on me and to figure out my path.
I forgot to mention I was in a 3 year relationship and that was one of the main reasons I returned home, as well. Sis, never base your goals off of a relationship. You don't want to stop working on your goals and 6 years later wishing you did what you always wanted to do. Your goals are more important!
Jersey was no longer home for me. The same people I left 4 years ago when I went off to college were doing the same exact thing. My close friends started leaving Jersey for grad school and career opportunities; things just weren't the same. Staying in Jersey for one year after graduation showed me a lot about myself and I wanted so much more!
If your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough...
Y'all remember that saying, right? Well, that was my life. I had many naysayers who gave me every excuse in the book to why I shouldn't move to Atlanta, such as the high percentage of gay men and the ridiculous traffic and many times it had me second guessing myself. After a Memorial Day weekend vacation in Atlanta with my line sister, things changed immediately. My sister knows me more than anyone and she said to me "THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE! Your slowly breaking down because you're letting any and everything stop you from chasing your dreams!"
Set a plan and a date and leave anything that's toxic in your life behind. I took a risk told my leasing office I wasn't renewing, took a flight to Atlanta to apartment hunt and saved up 3 months of rent, (I would definitely recommend saving more). I left my job and coincidentally the company lost a huge client that same month. That moment made me realize that we can't rely on Corporate America for financial stability or growth. We, as millennials, are out here creating and hustling because we know this.
After that, I packed up my car and drove 14 hours alone to Atlanta. Let me add I told most of my family 2 weeks prior to the move to avoid anyone from trying to hold me back. I know, I know, I was wrong for that.
But here are some of the things I learned while moving to Atlanta:
- Allowed me to become more independent
- Adaptable to new surroundings
- Learn who you are as a person and building up your confidence - when moving to a city alone, you don’t know many people so lots of things you explore will be alone.
- Be bold and fearless - allow yourself to accomplish anything after achieving one of your biggest fears. You build that courage to make things happen
- Focus on your goals 10 times harder
This journey has not been easy, but yet worth it! If you're looking to move to a new city, I would love to hear your story! Are you nervous? Are you excited? What's holding you back? Please feel free to comment below!