January 14 will mark my four year anniversary of living in this city.
I really enjoy marking this anniversary because once upon a time, I was ready to leave it. I think I’ve alluded here before that things were different then. To be succinct without getting too personal, I was incredibly lonely and was floating aimlessly. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted out of life. I nearly gave up and returned to my hometown, which would have been the biggest mistake I could have ever made.
I stuck it out; I decided that in order to be happy, I needed a life and to do things that made me proud of myself. I ran. I wrote. I went to concerts. I played music. Along the way, I picked up an amazing set of pals, pushed away the boundaries of my self-imposed comfort zone, made a lot of mistakes, had a number of embarrassing but mostly-hilarious misadventures, explored, lived.
This city changed my life.
I really started writing this entry because this new year has already witnessed many changes. My brother, like me, decided to make this incredible city his home. He is living with me until he gets on his feet, which means that he will be here anywhere from a couple of months to lord knows when. It’s funny how quickly your reality changes; I went from coming home to a quiet apartment after my evening runs to Jimi Hendrix documentaries, guitar solos, and trashy reality shows.
When I moved here four years ago, the loneliness was so acute that I constantly daydreamed about what I wanted my life to be like. Four years later, I look around my apartment and see my brother fast asleep on the couch. Music posters adorn my walls, as well as pictures I’ve collected from my brief but amazing travels. Musical instruments collect in the corner. The running shoes that helped me run my first marathon sit on the floor. I think of my plans for the weekend, involving family, meeting with friends, and something so lovely.
My intent is not a self-congratulatory post. My life isn’t perfect. I still have so much to learn. I am a woman but I still have so much growing to do.
But if I had a chance to talk to my lonely 23-year-old self, I’d tell her – keep daydreaming. One day, it can become your reality. You just have to try a little.