Often after a long day at work, on my subway ride back home, I drift into a series of contemplative thoughts. Today it was a combination of more than a couple of reasons — a sense of uncertainty, due to both internal and external circumstances, an article on a concept used by a commercial, amidst those thoughts, a Medium post well articulated, and the everchanging glimpses of this city and it’s people that I have such a strong sense of connection with.
New York — it’s where it all began — this will always be the place, one that gave me the courage to be me, the one that showed me purpose, gave me purpose, the one that became home in the very instant that I embraced it, and it embraced me right back. And yet today, New York inspires me like it’s my very first day, the very first time, the very first touch. After 30 months, I see a New York, one I never thought I could be a part of — the one of a Brooklyn girl, marketer by day, writer by everything else, striding to achieve that dream, which until a couple of years ago she didn’t know she had.
Born to an average kind, yet extremely hard working family in India, my journey from that life to this is a dream come true. Ever grateful for parents who placed me before them, my dreams above theirs, and when the time came, let me fly toward these dreams, 8000 miles away, to be here, in New York. The implicit trust they had in my potential, but along with that, trust in the opportunity in this mighty land, trust in the value it would have for my passion, trust that made it easy for me to believe that I belonged here.
The reality of it all was, of course, far better than anything I had dreamt of — the people, their stories, the possibility, the growth — and grow I did, rapidly and abundantly, into the person I was meant to be — New York showed me how to, it let me.
How could I ever have been anywhere else? How can I ever be anywhere else? The thought that once inspired me, soon turned to a fear, an anxiety — as I knew my stay here was determined on clauses that had nothing to do with what I had to offer, or my passions, or my dreams. The city of hustlers still falls under the jurisdiction of adamant illogic.
One of things that I have learned over this period is — I need a sense of belonging, to a purpose, a vision, a culture. This is what New York gave me. But it also gave me value, value for myself. So then did I really need to be susceptible to this fear of losing New York? Today, I say — No.
Home is where your heart is, for me that might always be New York — but I can carry my heart to every place I go — weaving a story from where it all began. I can’t let the reason I learnt to live, be the reason to hold me back.
There are no greater plans in life — life is what you make it. The choice is yours, so is the control of the outcome, and how you choose to react to it, that’s on you too. In all the changes that lie ahead of you, the only one you can control is your effort and your truth — of who you are, and your value, and the value that matters to you — that’s something you should never change, never compromise, never give up on. Don’t let the impositions of other’s opinions affect your intent, your integrity. Don’t let your emotional impetus, impede you from your future.
Something I say a lot nowadays, and today that probably stands most relevant, is, “Forward is the only way.”