Even before I boarded the plane to New York City, I had several people ask me the same question; "So, when are you moving back?" I completely understand the reasoning behind the inquisition, I mean the most favorite person in the whole wide world, or in Culver City, California, was moving across the country.
There was no accident in me choosing New York City to start the next chapter of my life. The truth is I had only applied to three schools. One in California, one in Chicago and one in New York. Thank the lord I didn't get into the school in Chicago. There aren't enough sweaters and coats to get me through those winters. When I got the early admission into NYU, I ignored the request from another school I applied to for additional documents. I knew New York was where I wanted to be. I quickly submitted my handsome deposit to secure my spot before telling anyone my plans. I felt super bad about being so secretive for months but this wasn't about them, this was about me.
I was stuck in a job I didn't love and feeling like I would regret not doing something for myself for once, so New York City was the move. Not because I had always dreamed about moving there, I didn't actually do much research before selecting the city. I chose New York because it seemed like a challenge. Like the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. My original answer to the question, "So, when are you moving back?" was "Two years." Duh. My program was only going to last two years. What reason would I have to stay any longer? So, that was my original response, two years. For the first year, my response was consistent. I really liked living in New York, but I could abandon my family for too much longer. I had a new nephew and a sister who needed me.
Fast-forward to right before graduation in 2013. I had absolutely no job prospects but it made me sick to think about leaving. I had made so many new friends I was just beginning to get to know and some of my old friends had moved to the city. I couldn't leave just yet. I made a vow to myself, if I didn't find a job by December of that year, I would return back to Los Angeles. I looked at it as fate. I also looked at it as I would be flat broke and wasn't ready to live on the streets with old roommates I had kicked out, Mickey and Jerry. They are not as cute and furry as you may think, I should know I've had these furry creatures as roommates at two out of the four of my New York apartments.
Well as fate had it, I wasn't destined to move back in 2013. I found a job right before my money well went dry. Well the well wasn't that dry, I had a fantastic temporary job at the same place that ended up hiring me into a permanent dream position in the middle of November 2013. It looked like it was not time just yet for me to return. But the question, "So, when are you moving back?" reappeared since my two years was up and I had just gotten a new position. So I thought practically, about my family and friends in LA and chose a year, 2016. At the time, I truly believed 2016 was going to be my time to return. It was far enough away to make me feel comfortable but close enough to make others happy. There I go again, trying to make others happen. I truly believed that in 2016, I would make my move back across the country.
Today marks the beginning of 2015. It hit me that that makes 2016 just next year. Look I majored in math for 1 year at UCLA so yes I know basic math but I really didn't feel 2016 would creep up so quickly. What's not so surprising is my date has possibly changed. I love what I'm doing at NYU. I'm possibly up for great changes this year in my career. And yes, I still keep others in mind when deciding my current answer to the question. But my answer to the question "So, when are you moving back" has changed. My new answer:
I don't know.
There are so many things that have occurred over the past two, three, four years that I couldn't have predicted in a million years. Some good, some bad, and some just what they were. I have stopped trying to figure out every detail of my future. I could end up back in LA, it could be Chicago (no wait, we ruled out that cold ass city a few paragraphs ago), or it could be Timbuktu. I'm not sure when and where I'm moving from New York but it will happen when I'm ready. I will be sure to take others into account when I decide my future, because I don't live in a bubble and I know my actions affect others I truly care about. However, wherever and whenever it is, my move will ultimately be about me.