On a bitter cold Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting in Starbucks doing that typical New York thing – working on my laptop and looking out the window at one of those bustling Winter Manhattan streets. Those iconic yellow cabs (that I loathe to ride in, I hasten to add) whiz uptown as I sip on my Pepper Mint Mocha (extra hot, extra shot and almond milk obviously).
I haven’t seen my boyfriend for two days, my sinuses are blocked, and I’ve broken out in spots; but my God, I’m one happy Brit! Not content, but like really f****g happy.
For a long time, living in England made me somewhat miserable; but to look at me, no one could understand why. I had the dream life - smart, ambitious, insanely amazing family and the most loyal / trustworthy friends (yes Amy and Adam I’m looking at you). I just felt like something was missing. Before you say it … No! It was not a man. I’ve always been fiercely independent and somewhat scared of commitment. A man really wasn’t what I needed albeit wanted, it was something else, something I couldn’t put my finger on.
"I've always been fiercely independent"
When 2016 reared its head, I decided to go find what I was missing (So incredibly cliché brave, I know) and bought a one-way ticket to Australia. I would leave the rest to fate. Besides, you can’t do anything but love Australia, right?!
Turns out Australia wasn’t for me. I wound up cutting my trip short.
I felt it to be quite behind the times and, to be honest, just way too far from home. Yes, I know, it’s on the other side of the world!! What did I expect? Well, you can’t fully appreciate the distance until you’ve taken that God forsaken flight (I promise you nothing will prepare you for it) and attempted to communicate with loved ones. There is quite literally only 2 hours a day when your worlds cross to allow you to hear a familiar voice.
Back in the UK, life didn’t get better - my best friend’s dad was critically ill, it was cold, miserable, and I felt like I was firmly back at square one.
There was no way I would stay in England. I was on a journey wherever it would take me and I wasn’t turning back. Absolutely, just no way! It’s not in me to quit, I’m too strong of a person. This would be just a little hiccup in the road as I chased my dreams.
"... I was firmly back at square one."
Now, New York had always held a very special place in my heart (along with Rome, of course, I mean just “Wow!”). I’ve spent a great deal of time in the States over the years and always felt very at home there. If truth be told, I felt a little silly - Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner? I booked a flight that very day. My poor mum, she finally gets her daughter back from Australia, thinks she has me to stay, and then I tell her I’m off, indefinitely… to New York!
I arrived in Manhattan in April. Although I was all alone, with my amazing family and friends back in the UK, New York felt right - just like “Yea, this is home!”
That may sound dramatic and I’m scoffing at myself as I type; but, until you’re at a fork in your life like I was, then you can’t possibly understand that feeling.
I quickly began making a life for myself in the Big Apple and ended up having the most life changing summer of my life. Yes, moving to New York was a game changer but when I ‘accidentally’ met the man of my dreams… well, I was just overwhelmed to say the least. I still am. I didn’t move here looking for love, far from it.
I’m a very private person so make the most of this heart pouring paragraph, you most likely won’t hear it again… I’m head over heels in love with the most amazing man. A man who makes me laugh allll day and night, someone who is so intelligent it leaves me speechless (don’t tell him I said that), who inspires me to work hard and chase my dreams, who supports me every step of the way and who I envision the rest of my life with.
My move to New York was the best thing I ever did, I just couldn’t comprehend how life could get any better until I met him. He was the cherry on my New York cake and now my best friend and partner in crime.
"...accidentally met the man of my dreams"
I’m not saying it’s easy to chase your dreams, especially if it means moving across the Atlantic Ocean (after crossing the Pacific). I miss my little brother. He’s my whole entire universe and its heart breaking not living in the same country as him. I held out on ‘finding myself’ for so long because the thought of being away from him broke me. Life asks you to make some tough decisions and sometimes you have to take the plunge.
Just do it!
No regrets. Deal with the bridges and hurdles as they come. You’ll be a better person for trying.
I knew for a long time that England wasn’t for me. It took me a while, but I did something about it in the end and have never looked back.
"My little brother is my whole entire Universe..."
Whatever it is you want to change, chase or create… DO IT!!! Life is so frighteningly short and passes us by in the blink of an eye. Make it a happy one, take chances, and hold your head up high.
As I said, I’m a closed book. Writing this post for all to see wasn’t easy, but I felt it held an important message. If I can drop everything I was doing, live away from my brother, and start a whole new life at the age of 28 all by myself (in New York city of all places), then I assure you, you can do it too!