DEAR SHA,

When I first moved to New York City I thought about writing a letter to myself.

I'd heard about people writing to their future selves as they made their way into a huge transitional moment in their lives. However, as I began to write I had no idea what say to the Sha of the future. Should I be warning her of the troubled seas ahead? Congratulating her on the success that was coming her way? Either way, nothing inspirational came to mind so I tossed that idea aside. 

On February 26, 2017 I made the best decision of my life and boarded my one-way flight to New York City and boy has it been a crazy ride. I can't even believe that three hundred and sixty-five days have passed since I hopped off the plane at LGA with my dreams and my fabulous pink rain coat that I'd just purchased from Zara. It was THE most turbulent flight that I'd ever had in my life and I swear I wasn't going to make it. It's actually quite funny now that I think about it because the past year in this city has been exactly that. Full of twists, turns, ups and downs but eventually the clouds cleared and the plane, aka my life, leveled out and there's nothing but clear skies ahead. 

Anyway back that letter. I may not have known what to say to the Sha of my future but I sure as hell have a ton to say to the Sha of my past. I never want to forget the feeling I have after my very first year in the most trying city that I've ever lived in, so here goes:

Dear Sha,

First and foremost, I want to thank you. As I sit here with literal tears springing to my eyes, I can’t help but to be grateful for the courage you’ve had to take leaps, pursue dreams and live without fear of rejection. It’s because of those very things that I...you? No..WE, are standing where we are today.

I have some unfortunate news for you, the next year of your life will not be what you’ve expected it to be. You won’t love your job(s), you won’t make a ton of friends (at first) and you won’t be discovered on the streets of New York by a photographer that wants you to become his muse. Your life will not be what you’re expecting it to be because it will be better. You’ll spend the first few months, longing to be back with your friends in Minneapolis. You’ll stalk photos then beg and plead for a time machine to go back to the day you decided to leave so that you can change your mind. There will be no words that can express how much you miss working for one of the best companies in the world and you’ll constantly kick yourself for missing out on that relationship you could’ve had, had you stayed. You’ll question your worth as a young business woman, you’ll long for the days when 2 dates per week would substitute your lack of groceries. You’ll learn that your road rage has nothing on your sidewalk rage and you’ll quickly forget what the smell of fresh air was like.

While at at first it won’t be easy, I pinky promise that you will find your stride. Remember that time you wanted to become a coach? Well guess what...you are now. How about when you promised yourself you’d start a blog? Well here it is. I remember when you’d spend Sunday’s dreaming about the day you’d no longer live through the “scaries” because you were your own boss, making your own rules. I’m happy say you’re one step closer to that now. The best of all is, you know when you used to stare at yourself in the mirror with so many questions of your life’s purpose and the Lord’s plan for you, well today you stand in front of that same horribly warped mirror with sheer certainty in who you are as a grown ass, twenty-six year old woman and proudly shout that shit from the rooftops every, damn, day.

You see girl, this move to New York City will change you. It will breathe this sense of life into you that you never knew you were missing and it will push you so far down the path of self acceptance, pride and determination that you’ll wonder why it took you so long to take this leap.

So Sha, go ahead and pack up that bag, throw it in the trunk and keep those big, almond shaped eyes set on the road ahead of you because there’s never a reason to look back when you have so much to look forward to.

So many friend's that I have made here in the city tell me the same thing, "I told myself I'd be here for a year or two and here I am 5+ years later." Now truth be told, I don't know if I have an entire 5+ years in me BUT I will say that I don't see myself leaving anytime soon. Cheers to however many more years in this glorious, dream revealing, city that I now call home. 

-XX

SJG

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