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Ocean view from my former Miami Beach apartment.

This picture is the last look I got out the window of my Miami Beach apartment. That view could not be beat and for six years I would part the drapes every morning and behold the vast Atlantic Ocean. On rainy days when it was slate grey or on brilliant sunny days when it was crystal blue, I felt blessed that I could take in the ocean from my window, and walk there in minutes if I wanted to. And a year ago today, I left it behind.

I had had my last day with my dream company the Friday prior and this picture was taken in an empty apartment after a long day of moving. I did the walk through, handed over the keys, took one last look out the window, and said goodbye to the four walls that had contained my life, had been my space in the world for six years.

The next day I was flying to Europe and embarking on an epic journey and there was no turning back. But on moving day, I remember feeling so anxious that I was practically manic; so consumed with last minute preparations that I didn’t have the mental capacity to process the bigness of what I was about to do. As I look back I can appreciate the details of my memory of that day that in hindsight portray meaningful lessons for this life journey.

  1. You will have to leave things behind. I was DIY moving and I simply could not lift my beloved couch (or help my friend lift it). Long story short, I had to leave it. I didn’t want to, but in the end I thought, “It’s just a thing. It served its purpose. Now someone else can use it.” And when you die, you can’t take anything with you anyway. The lesson:

    Don’t get too attached to things.

  2. The anticipation is the worst. Moving day – when I finally pushed the first domino in the design I had been painstakingly assembling – was one of the most stressful, exhausting days of my life. Once that plane was airbound, though, there was nothing more I could do; there was no point in worrying because it was too late to do anything about it. That is true freedom. The lesson: 

    The buildup is the scary part. Once you take the leap, you soar.

  3. Your friends & family will have your back. A friend bought me dinner the night before because she knew all my pots and pans were packed away. A brawny friend brought his tools to take apart my bedframe and did most of the heavy lifting. The last night, a friend offered me a place to sleep and do a last load of laundry. The morning I left, my tia made me breakfast and gave me a baby Xanax because according to her, my nervousness made me look “suspicious.” The lesson:

    Your circle will take care of you. Go ahead and take that leap.

Every time I look at this picture I will remember so much. The end of a chapter, the start of a journey, the moment it encapsulates, the lessons I will carry with me forever. This is a window to the infinite ocean and into the infinite possibilities of the future.

 

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