Let’s face it; change isn’t easy. At best, change is a minor bump in the road, on the other hand, sometimes change can leave us feeling vulnerable, exposed and down in the dumps.
This has been the case for a dear friend of mine who recently relocated to New York City. First off all, anyone who relocates to New York City will tell you that it takes months, if not years to adjust to New York City living. Furthermore, the pace here is unlike anywhere in the States.
I remember when I first came to New York in the late 90’s- I had flown into Newark and taken a bus straight into Manhattan. When the bus dropped me off in the middle of 34th Street and 7th Ave., I felt overwhelmed. The crowds of people, the noise, the smell, the thick, humid New York City air- it was a complete assault to my senses. And yet, there was this inner sense of knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be. Sadly, this has not been my friend’s experience.
For the last four weeks, not only has he been missing his family and friends abroad, he has had a difficult time adjusting overall. I don’t blame him of course. New York can be a tough nut to crack. However, those who have a special place in their heart for the city (myself included) will tell you there’s no place like it on earth. The city is full of culture, music, art, diversity, and home to some of the most amazing thinkers, movers, shakers, artists, creatives, not to mention- some of the most resilient and resourceful people on the planet.
When I sat down with my friend for a chat, it was clear he was experiencing a tremendous amount of uncertainty and fear. But it wasn’t just about relocating and adjusting to all of the lifestyle changes that presented uneasiness, it was apparent that he was also holding onto a lot of self-doubt with regard to his talent as an artist and whether or not he can actually make it here.
I couldn’t help but think back to when I first moved here and how difficult my transition was and how vulnerable I felt. The move pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that there were times I wanted to give up and go back to what was familiar. Needless to say, stepping out of one’s comfort zone into uncharted territory is never an easy task. And while it was difficult to be in a new city without the immediate support of my family and friends, as time went on I adjusted and the feeling of being homesick lessened. Before I knew it, opportunities for growth presented themselves and New York became my home.
It’s not clear whether or not my friend will be able to deal with all of the changes and adjustments he’s experiencing. I guess only time will tell. But what I can say for sure is that sometimes we must outstretch ourselves and move beyond what’s comfortable and familiar in order to pursue our dreams and experience the richness and fullness of the life we’ve been given.
By no means am I saying that New York is for everyone or that we shouldn’t listen to our heart if where we lay our hat doesn’t feel like home. But what I am saying is that change of any kind requires patience and time. Change also requires a willingness on our part to embrace it, courage to face our fears when they arise and faith in knowing that we’re exactly where we need to be and that the Universe always has our back.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Lots of Love,