Some of my sorority sisters from the local alumnae chapter took me out to eat in Asheville this evening. We ate at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown and started with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. As long as I have lived in the South, my first time tasting fried green tomatoes came two weeks before I move north! The server popped a bottle of Champaign and we toasted to my new adventure.
As always, my sorors were a wealth of information, knowledge from experience and support. And I shared with them my personal thoughts, hopes and expectations. My expectations ... I am expecting to not know what to expect. I hope I am prepared for most things. And I think I will be fine.
I have no idea what is going to happen, and I love that I am going to experience that. Even if nothing goes the way I want it to go, I know that I will look back on this time and be glad that I did it. I would rather regret failing in New York City than regret never trying at all.
I am not moving to New York just to be able to say that I live in New York City - even though my opinion is that it has to be the most fabulous city in the world. My intention is not to create or find a life to serve as a bragging point to friends, old and new. To paraphrase a stranger on myspace who I quoted in an earlier blog entry: Sometimes we don't truly appreciate the potential and opportunity for our own personal happiness because we are too busy comparing our lives to others. Then we spend the rest of the time trying to live up to the expectations that others directly or indirectly help set for us.
And I certainly do not expect to arrive in New York City like Anne Hathaway in the "Devil Wears Prada" - though I am looking forward to going to see that movie in Asheville next week with my mom, and I would jump at an opportunity like the one Anne's character gets in the book. However, I think that the reason why some people often fail (and are subsequently devastated by their failure) - whether it's in the Big Apple or elsewhere - is that they set unrealistic expectations within an impractical timeframe and strut as if they have already arrived. Like they say (my boyfriend and I often debate over who "they" are), some people are so busy talking that they never actually start walking.
While I am a believer in self-confidence, personal motivation, and strength and openness of mind, I am also realistic and fairly logical, as long as my emotions are in check (the emotional part just comes with being a woman). I expect to struggle, I expect to start at the bottom or close to it, and I am willing, ready and able to do both. I expect to experience a certain level of culture shock (though growing up as a military brat has afforded me the ability to adapt well to 180-degree situations). I expect to get frustrated ... maybe a lot. I expect that I'll probably cry from time to time ... but I won't admit it on this blog until a substantial amount of time has passed. I expect to question the direction of my life, but I don't expect to question my abilities. I expect to be homesick.
As a matter of fact, as I was driving back to Cullowhee from Asheville this evening, the sun was setting behind the mountains creating a red hallow along the mountain ridges and spreading captivating orange sunrays along the tree lines. And I realized again how beautiful Western North Carolina is and how much I am going to miss this area. You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl.
Do I really want to trade my daily life surrounded by the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains for the day-to-day hustle and bustle and grind of a northern concrete jungle? Absolutely.