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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Show Up: Diving in is Testing the Water




Excerpt from Postcards & Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments in New York

 

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I realized that the opportunity wasn’t going to present itself. I needed to create it. Katharine, 28-year-old Director of Operations for an e-commerce boutique

 

I am from Los Angeles. When I was 23, I decided that I would live in New York at some point in my life. Though I wanted it to happen as naturally as possible, I ended up moving October 9, 2008, after deciding to abruptly quit my job and take the leap. I realized that the opportunity wasn’t going to present itself. I needed to create it.

 

My birthday is October 5th, and my BFF’s (best female friend) birthday is October 10th. She relocated to Boston in 2008, so it seemed like the perfect time to make my trek East. I made a five-day pit stop in Boston, then headed to New York. No job set up, no arrangement for a place to stay and no plan. I ended up finding a sublet in the East Village and trusted myself to figure out the rest.

 

I was excited about the change with an underlying layer of fear driving me. A certain amount of fear is healthy for me because if I’m not afraid that means it’s stale, old and comfortable. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and that’s exactly what happened. I’ve met great people and have absorbed a lot of what the city offers. I’ve made mistakes and I’m OK with that.

 

This move taught me I am capable of achieving much more than I thought, and that I haven’t given myself enough credit for my depth of strength and resourcefulness. I’ve also discovered it’s important for me to go for what I want and not deny myself what I know I deserve. On the flip side, I’ve learned it’s all right for me to lean on a friend when I need to and have them lean on me in return.

 

Before I left LA, I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help. I’ve gone through life feeling like I can’t ever be perceived as “stupid,” like the whole “men-never-ask-for-directions” thing. But I realized it wouldn’t matter if someone DID think I was "stupid.” And it turns out, they don’t. In particular, New Yorkers get a bad rap for being rude; 90 percent of the people I have encountered have been nothing less than sweet and gracious. New Yorkers are absolutely more brash, blunt, and outspoken than people in LA, but I find that I much prefer it that way.

 

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Diving in is testing the water.




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