Before last Saturday I’d never been to New York. To a small town Louisiana girl, visiting seemed overwhelming and I would’ve never even entertained the idea of living there. It always seemed like a scary place that I was just not cut out for. So instead of moving to somewhere as big and fast-paced as New York, I made a smaller leap to North Carolina.
But this past weekend I took my first trip to New York City to watch my 15-year-old nephew perform at Carnegie Hall. When I found out that he had been selected to play with an Honors Band, there was no question if I would fly up to support him; North Carolina is just too close to not go. But had I still been living in Louisiana, flying to New York would have felt a bit daunting, and I probably would’ve talked myself out of going: “It’s too far away,” “the trip is too long for only a 2-day stay”, blah, blah, blah. But since I’m living closer, I was open to tagging along! In 2 days, NYC went from being a foreign land to somewhere I plan to visit again, and even discussed with my boyfriend the idea of living there. Moving to North Carolina made visiting New York doable, and a simple visit opened me up to the possibility of more. Will I actually move to New York? I doubt it, but who knows. The point is, you never know where one step will lead so you have to make yourself available to new experiences. You don’t get to where you want to be by some stroke of good luck. Even being “in the right place, at the right time” took effort because you still had to get up and go somewhere! Opportunity doesn’t knock on the doors of strangers. Show up, and remind her that you’re available.
After my boyfriend snapped the picture of me in front of the Essence Magazine headquarters, I told him that my next visit to 135 W 50th Ave. would be for a business meeting. Now that I know where the building is and what it looks like, my imagination can be a little more realistic. Again, I wouldn’t have even been able to dream that big if I never took one short visit. Need I remind you that my visit was only because my nephew was bold and amazing enough to follow his own passion?! I’ll save that for another day. But:
Start somewhere; take a step in any direction, even if you don’t know where you’re going to end up. Stagnation is what it really means to be lost and you’ll always be afraid of the things you never experience. Fortunately, it’s never as scary as it seems.