Ten years ago I took a trip to the beloved New York City. It was my high school senior trip, and it turned into was the beginning of a budding romance I would have with this city. It would inspire me to achieve more goals in life than any other place I have been. We spent a little time in upstate New York and finished with a few days in the city. After that trip I began to work towards aspiring my dream of moving to New York City.
Here I sit in Central Park, returning to New York for the first time, 10 years later. It was a business trip that brought me here this time, backpacked onto a few short days visiting one of my best friends, H, who lives here. In fact, it was our dream to achieve this move together. She made it, I didn’t.
We sat at brunch this morning, after our late night out in the city that totally sleeps, discussing the choices we have made along our journeys. I began to see laid out in front of me the path not taken.
All through college I dreamt of moving to NYC as soon as I graduated. In fact, I chose my major and minor based on the career path that I thought would take me there. By April of the last semester of my senior year I began lining up a job that would move me to New York. It seemed to all be panning out to accomplish my dream. At the last minute the job got postponed until fall. I then searched out to find the internship of a lifetime that summer that would hopefully lead into my future employment in the fall, in New York.
Turns out there were bigger plans coming my way. My internship was ending in August and I was hoping to move that fall. H decided to make the move to Nashville instead of NYC, and things just seemed to keep falling apart just when it became within reach.
That August, I met my husband. I knew almost immediately I would marry him. All my dreams suddenly begin to change. I continued to have this love for this city that I so desperately longed to be a part of, but that dream would be halted and replaced with a new one.
Today I sit, wondering how my life would have been different had I made that move immediately after graduating. I know the choices I would have made and the path that I could have paved for myself here. I believe it could have been romantic and thrilling, and yet quite a dark one.
When I met my husband, he saved me. Shortly before I met him I was slowly moving down a road that would have not landed me in healthy place. Had I made that move, I know for a fact I would have continued on that road.
The minute I walked outside from Grand Central Station, I felt like I was home. I have been soaking up every ounce of this city for the past two days. It has brought back some of the better and some of the worse versions of the past me. One thing I will leave here knowing is that I would not trade my path for anything. Choosing to give up this dream, gave me one that will last much longer. One that will be there as we grow old together, no matter how rocky the road we may take to get there, we WILL get there, together.