Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Here we go, NYC.

Well, today's the day! By noon today, I'll be a few hundred miles away from my old Kentucky home in New York City.

It's all really weird to think about because it's just not something I ever thought I would do. When people at home asked me what I was doing this summer and I said I was working in New York, everyone was shocked. Heck, I guess I was a little shocked myself at the words coming out of my mouth. It's just that not many people from Kentucky go to New York like they do in other places. I've always just thought I would end up in a city comparable to Lexington, or even Richmond, so the prospect of such a big city scared me.

While my mom and I were packing up the last of my things last night, it reminded me of the very first time I ever flew and the first time I went to New York. I was 12, going on my "12-year-old trip" with my dad. He allowed us to pick a place wherever we wanted and travel, just the two of us. I chose New York and so, on that night before my flight, while my mom and I packed, we sat on the floor and I cried because I was scared. I had never flown before and the nerves were setting in. She reassured me that we would be completely fine flying and that it was safer than driving a car, and I felt better.

Since then, my mom and I have become packing pros. I didn't fly again until I was leaving for a program in San Francisco in high school and we packed my many suitcases for me to fly all by myself across the country. We've moved on from the simple fear of flying to scarier things for both of us, like frequently flying all by myself, or dealing with airport issues alone, and now moving to New York City all by myself.

That night when I was 12 and had cried, I was scared about the physical things that could happen to me: our plane crashes, my dad and I get separated, something happens to the rest of my family. In that moment, I never imagined that I would eventually be working in the city for the summer someday. On this night before my big trip, I am scared, but not for the fear of my plane crashing.

Over the years, I've moved into lots of new situations and each time, I've grown a lot. I remember the feeling specifically of going from a small middle school to a huge high school, and then from a high school where I knew everyone to a college where everyone was smarter than me. And I'm realizing that this is exactly the same scenario: being the little fish in a big pond. Though it used to terrify me, it now excites me.

We are pushed to be the best people we can be by those around us.

I will never stop thinking that, because it has been because of situations where I was challenged that I grew. I could have chosen a different situation where life would've been easier and I was the smarter one of the group, but I never would have learned. I am thrilled to be going to the biggest city in the country where everyone around me is unique and different and smart. The world is my oyster, and I hope to learn and grow more than I can ever imagine.

Though it seems so odd to be saying I'll be in New York this summer and I've had my fair share of laughs about the idea of me, a girl from Kentucky, trying to make my way around, I feel ready. As I drove through the streets where I used to go to high school, it didn't feel like the same me as when I was in high school. New York City didn't seem like it was "me", but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed something that wasn't "me".

As much preparation as I've done, I'm in no way prepared for the ways that this summer will change me and the incredible opportunities that will arise!

Keep staying tuned for this wild ride.


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