On August 1st, 2013, I embarked on a journey which would change my life forever—I moved to New York City.
I found a fantastic job opportunity, I was almost done taking the tests for the CPA license (yup, I used to be an accountant), and I had all these dreams craving to be put to the test.
So I thought, “I can do this. I can pack up and move to a completely new place. I can leave my home, friends, and family behind, and make it happen.”
And so I did.
I'd already done a study abroad in Madrid during my junior year of college, how hard could the move to a new city be? Thing is, during my study abroad, I knew when I was coming back to Puerto Rico; there was an expiration date. But my move to New York City didn't have one.
I was taking a huge chance with this. I had absolutely no idea when I was coming back (or if I ever was), nor of the challenges I'd face once I moved to the city.
“But this is a huge deal, have you no doubts about it at all?” a friend once asked.
Of course I had doubts. Tons of them! I had questions, I was worried and I was terrified. Yes, I was terrified of leaving home, of leaving all which was so familiar to me, of trading the known for the unknown and taking this extraordinary leap of faith. It was only natural.
But you’ll be insanely surprised about all the amazing things which lie at the other side of fear. Trust me. There is no better feeling in the world than to set clear goals, overcome every roadblock along the way, and achieve everything you set your heart and will out to accomplish.
So back in 2013, I was fresh out of college and asking myself the following questions, “Am I truly taking advantage of all the opportunities this world has to offer? Of my new found freedom, before mortgages, kids, and the responsibilities which come with certain life commitments?”
Too many people allow fear to stop them from taking risks, but when you think about it, and like Erica Jong—author of New York Times bestselling novel Fear of Flying once said, “And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”
I’m not gonna lie, moving to New York was no easy feat. It was probably one of the toughest decisions I've ever made and the adaptation to a new environment was no piece of cake either. But in hindsight, I learned quite a great deal about taking chances. If any of this rings a bell or if you're currently thinking about taking a big risk, consider this:
If you never try, you will never know
As cliché as it sounds, you know it's true. How will you know a certain path is right for you if you don't go for it? Scared of failing? I’d be even more scared of not trying at all! And what if you succeed? Think about it! If you fail, what’s the worst that could happen? You'll get up, walk it off, learn from your mistakes, and go right back at it!
The first step is the steepest
Taking that first step and committing to your goals can be one hell of a task. Now, choosing to go out on a limb to take ownership of your life is the most rewarding choice. Taking life by the reigns will allow you to rediscover your dreams, longings, and ambitions, and it will further aid you to continue to shape the path which lies ahead of you.
Showing up is half the battle
We already know life's no sugar, spice, and everything nice. You'll win some and you'll lose some. With each loss, you'll get up and try even harder. With every win, you'll become more confident to show up the next day and face the following challenge.
Looking back is not an option
It's this simple, we can either let fear keep us from reaching our goals, or we can take a leap of faith and continue to learn as we go. Regardless of, once you take on this journey, there is no turning back. Why? Because some chances don’t come to you twice and I learned this the hard way. That “perfect moment” does not exist; you are the only one capable of creating that moment for yourself. Many of us tend to worry so much about what will happen if we fail, we end up losing sight of what could happen if we succeeded. It's easy to get sidetracked, but if you really want something, go for it, stay focused, and keep moving forward.
You will never know what you're capable of if you never put yourself to the test.