Let me rewind. More than four years ago, I left Miami for New York because I wanted a new set of challenges for myself. And also because I had never felt a greater pull towards anything in my entire life -- all I knew was I had to go.
Like many people, being immersed in the New York energy, which the city releases like its own strain of oxygen, was something I had long wanted. The city forces you to put yourself first, to push yourself, and to see how far you can be stretched -- and that’s exactly what I needed. It hadn’t been just about me like that before, not really. My 20s were primarily synonymous with loss. I lost my mom when I was 21. And years later, I lost the person I used (probably unfairly) as an emotional crutch for her loss. My life was about dealing with those two people; they came first -- even if one of them was no longer alive.
In other words, New York ultimately became my therapist. And it was a really good one... albeit with an extremely high hourly rate.
It took me just shy of half a decade to get exactly what I needed. I “did me.” I became a writer, dated like crazy after pretty much never doing it before, embraced the culture and the nightlife (read: drank a lot), and regained that fleeting feeling of being, at least on some level, invincible. I was constantly stimulated, learning more about myself than I ever thought possible -- all while being surrounded by some of the best people I’d ever met. I even once had a rat kicked on my foot during a late-night run to Lombardi’s. Seriously. The city figuratively and literally branded me.
And then like any successful therapy session, I inevitably had my breakthrough.