BREAKING AWAY: THE FEELING OF LEAVING SMALL TOWN AMERICA

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“Why broadening your horizons could help you grow?”

Coming from a small town, I moved to New York City back in the 2011. The city was in Wisconsin with a population of 78,000. Very few people take it among themselves to leave their surroundings. But as for me, I wanted more: to see more, experience more, strive for more. The comfort in living in small town USA can be almost like a crutch for a lot of people. The daunting task of removing yourself from your environment can be tough. Another reason for not leaving is that you don’t want to be the person who leaves. Then you’re forced to come back because you can’t make it in the big city.

Well, let me put it to you this way. As a person coming from small town America, there are a lot of people in your surroundings not surviving anyways. So what’s it to you to put yourself out there and try. We are all so caught up in what someone else will think and not ourselves. I’ll tell you from experience, that just making the move is a lot more than anyone else around you would do. You made the initiative to jump from a small place to a big place. Most are far too afraid, so you’ve already defeated the odds just doing that much. Now, as far as success is concerned, what do you aspire to become.

For me it’s writing. Now I know what you’re thinking, you can write anywhere. But living in New York City is an inspiring location. Whether its venturing into the heart of Manhattan or staying around in my Harlem neighborhood. There is also so much to do in the outer boroughs, or better yet New Jersey is right across the river. Coming to this city for graduate school, I sort of threw myself into the mix. What’s funny is that I never visited New York until I came for graduate school. That is a major risk because what if I didn’t like the city.

But what happened is that I fell in love with this major city. And when I say major I mean major. Coming from a 78,000 population to a metropolitan population of 25 million with over 60 million tourists is a quantum leap. People have told me, I never would have made the leap. But I guess that’s what separates me from them. I am not afraid to step into a new surrounding. I’ve even contemplated moving to another major city; maybe Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Miami. So you ask me, how do you overcome such fears and move away.

Well for starters, I came for graduate school and stayed in campus housing. That was a great way for me to start in a new city. I had a roof over my head and food in my mouth. This helps when moving anywhere new. But even after grad school ended, then what? Well, next I am a more fearless person. I’m not afraid of failing in my pursuit of what I want in life. Which is what it takes to live in a bigger city. You have to put yourself in harms way sometimes so that good things can happen to you.

I also had a support system from back home. This also doesn’t hurt when moving to somewhere new as well. Having loved ones who believe in you can really help. You see, in the end, fears and the unknown keep people from leaving their surroundings. No one wants to fail, or at least fail to hard. But you have to jump off of cliffs. You have to trust yourself and believe that eventually you’ll glide safely to the ground.

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