To be honest, I decided to leave years ago. I envied people who were brave enough to move to different states every few years. I wanted to know if I could make it alone, just me with no one else to depend on for anything. I decided to move so many times. Atlanta. Houston. New Orleans. Charlotte. It never happened.
Time and time again, I backed out of moving. Waiting until this, gotta finish that.
Finally one cold winter day, I decided I was ready. I circled the date on the calendar and shared goodbye hugs, tears, and meals with family and friends. I packed up my things in cardboard boxes and shipped it all to the then-foreign land of Brooklyn.
The circled date came. I did not back out. I was terrified. The what ifs danced around my head in a frenzy. But I did not back out. I moved.
When I first came here in the early 2000s, I said I would never ever eva live here. The crowded trains, the endless surge of people, the trash piled high, the fearless pigeons and rats, the noise. It was fun and different but home?
New York could never be home.
Now home is a non-trendy Brooklyn neighborhood where women’s voices are flavored with hints of mango, the scent of exotic cooked food fills the air, and brightly colored flags of distant nations adorn homes and car bumpers.
Recently, I went back home except it wasn’t anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great time with amazing people but something changed. Or maybe I did.
The place I once declared I’d never live was home. I couldn’t wait to get back.