“Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one, representing BK to the fullest” – “Unbelievable” by Notorious B.I.G.
For the past few years, ever since I returned from living in Cape Town, I’ve attributed my love of exploring the world and being independent to that experience abroad. I was so happy and healthy there that I ached for it every day since I got back home to New Jersey. This last year I even took every step I possibly could to make the leap and move there. I saved an outrageous amount of money, got my South African Foreign Qualifications for my degree, and worked with visa agents and lawyers. But, with a tanking job market and strict immigration laws in South Africa, it wasn’t in the cards for me. I was crushed after many months of hard work and pining.
I then took time to reflect. It wasn’t meant to be. I kept thinking, well how do I get back to feeling happy, healthy, and independent?
Then it hit me: the first time I ventured out and became independent wasn’t in Cape Town; it was my 2014 summer internship in Brooklyn. It wasn’t like living abroad, but it was a 35-mile trek that included driving, taking a bus, riding two subways trains, and walking 10 minutes each day, and it was the most adventurous, independent thing I did in the first 22 years of my life. I loved the whole atmosphere of the city and all the exciting things that awaited inside it.
I figured out what I needed to do—find a job in the city, like I initially intended to do after college, and move to Brooklyn. I picked myself back up and channeled the drive I had for Cape Town towards Brooklyn. Within two months my life did a 180. I got my dream job doing marketing for a travel company and found the most-fitting apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
This past weekend I made the official move and I finally feel it again—the feeling of being happy, healthy, and independent. The things that pained me in 2018 are dissipating. My mind is wrapped up in the positive, and it’s like a healing bandage for my mental and emotional cracks that refuses to let the negative stuff seep in. I’m myself again—an even better version of myself. I’m where I’m supposed to be.
I’m not sure what comes next, but I’ll be here working hard, planning my travels, and representing BK to the fullest.