This is part of the weekly series called Listable Life hosted by The Moments that define life.
Every young woman I know or have ever known, prompted or unprompted, I give the same advice. Before you get married and settle down, move or travel somewhere where you know no one. I mean you pick up, pack up, and move out to a place where you are totally anonymous. When I did it, it was without Facebook or texting or even the ability to afford more than 200 cell minutes a month. It was awesome and here is why.
You have a fresh start – that isn’t to say that the past you left behind was dramatic or terrible, but you have the opportunity reinvent yourself without the judgement of those who have known you since you were in diapers.
You are scared – and what is more invigorating then being scared. I personally work best under pressure and fear and the idea of living a somewhat real life survivor episode just to figure out how to get from point a to point b my myself, find food, my shelter, and wash my clothes in a foreign place – well NYC – was enough to kick-start myself.
You meet the coolest people – I would have never gone to the movies by myself or approached a stranger and start a conversation if I was in my comfort zone. I put myself out there to meet some amazing people, many of which I still keep in contact with all these years later. They were my friends when I didn’t have any close to me. They became validation that I could do this.
You see the world differently – Growing up in Nebraska, I cannot say I had the most well rounded world view. Not until I put myself into a different environment – away from the stereotypes or the assumptions of people, neighborhoods, beliefs – did I realize just how little I knew. For some that could be frustrating but for me it changed me to the core for the better.
You have some great stories to tell your kids – And they are YOUR stories….I cannot wait to tell the one about the time I got free tickets to 42nd Street on Broadway, or how I met a future famous director as we were both by ourselves a Romeo and Juliet – two rows in front of Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears, or how I ate brunch on Father’s Day at the Plaza. Amazing stories that I hope will inspire them to do exactly what I did…go get lost.
Photo as I came up from the subway, my first day of my new Internship – Summer 2001*
*taken with a real camera – with film