Updated: Oct 10, 2020
I was born in Queens, New York, but in 1993 my mother had a job transfer, and my parents and big sister and I packed up and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. From 1993 until 2019, I was in St. Louis. St. Louis is the place that raised me and molded me. I am very St. Louis. I have always claimed New York as well, but eventually, as I got older, I started claiming both as my home. The year of 2018 literally tried to take me out. My mother and brother were in a terrible car accident that led to my mother's death. I was still in school and trying to graduate on time. I was taking care of my brother and just trying to be a helpful sister to my siblings in general. I had a full-time job, I was in school full-time, and I was dealing with everything else. I had also just let go of a relationship. I was in such a unique situation with the people in my life. I was miserable.
When my mom died, part of me went with her. I completely lost who I am. I loved my job, but suddenly, I had no heart to do my job. I wanted to love but had determined that I just sucked at love. Everything I enjoyed did nothing for me anymore. I knew something had to change, but I really did not know what had to change. I decided I needed to move.
But I loved St. Louis. I did not want to leave, but I did not know what else needed to be done. One day my brother called me and said, "I think you should move to New York; it will be good for you. Think about it. You're our parents' only child who didn't live or grow up in New York. You've been in St. Louis most of your life. You're searching for something, but we do not have parents that you can ask. You can go to New York, learn where you came from, and be around family and learn about your roots. Even if you do not last a long time, at least you went out there." I talked to my big sister, and she said: "If I wasn't married with kids, it would be no questions as to what I would do."
During my graduation day, my cousin and aunt were at my apartment, and I had spoken to them about the idea of me moving to New York. My cousin said, "Well, titi and I were talking, and we just want you to know that if you move to New York, we would really like that, and we will make it our duty to make sure you are taken care of." This was an opportunity that I could not pass up. I was losing my mind. I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. The pain, the hurt, the confusion led me to be lost in my own mind.
I was stuck because I loved my job, but I wanted more. I loved St. Louis, but I wanted more. It wasn't that my community, the city, or my family wasn't growing; it was me. I needed to heal, and I couldn't recover in St. Louis, because the focus wouldn't be me. I would be trying to take care of everyone and everything around except me. I had to go and do something for me. As much as I love my support system and as impressive as they are, I needed to provide the same energy to myself. I didn't want to leave St. Louis. I just knew I had to step away and get out of my comfort zone. I could not suffer any longer. I had to leave to heal. I needed to love me the way I love the world.
Have you experienced something like this? Did you address it? Have you made the bold decision to heal?
As always, know that I love you and remember to love you the way you love the world!
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