November 20, 2014. Charleston, South Carolina.  I was in the living room with all of my bags packed. Suitcase, backpack, laundry basket and another basket with just books in it. I was ready to go. At this point, we wait. We were waiting on my new boss to arrive to come and pick me up. I was getting ready to move to Baltimore. I alternated between looking out of the window to see when he would be pulling up in the driveway and looking at my mother and my grandmother who waited alongside me to attempt to read their body language. I had told them just last month of my decision to move away, but in my mind  I don’t feel that it went well. Truth be told, they weren’t content with the fact that I was leaving, and never would be content until they came up to visit and see for themselves that I was alright.

I was doing all of this at 19. I had done one year of college, and had decided not to register for classes for my second year, because I knew that I would be moving. I was working at Chick Fil A, and had about $350 to my name. That’s it. 19 years old, $350 to my name and a bunch of books. No car, no real house [I would stay in a little room in the back of a church for a year], and a load of uncertainties. But I was ready. They [my mother and my grandmother] knew that I was ready. I had visited just last month for a weekend, and I knew that it was time. I didn’t know that the big move would happen the very next month, and I certainly didn’t think that the big move would happen just before Thanksgiving. My new boss finally showed up. He exchanged words with my grandmother and my mother, they laughed a little, said some reassuring words to each other, helped me load up the car, hugged, hugged and hugged, [they] shed a few tears, and I hopped in the car and I left.

Today, August 5, 2017. Baltimore, Maryland. Bun Shop. Here I am, sitting on a brand new couch in a coffeehouse, beside a cup of water and a Vietnamese iced coffee. In my lap is a laptop masked with a bunch of political stickers. Life is grand. When I initially got here, I didn’t think that I would last this long, because I was low in cash and I had frequent regrets about the whole thing. “Did I make the right decision? Why did I do this again? Why didn’t anyone talk me out of this? I probably should stayed in South Carolina.” But, after a few months of struggling, things started to work. I landed a job, I learned how to get around the city and I made bonds and connections. I made mistakes, I stumbled and even fell. But things just kept on working out for me. I credit the most high, honestly. I’m still here, 3 years later.

5 years ago, I would’ve thought that you were insane if you told me that I would be where I am today.

I miss Charleston, much more than I thought. I miss my little sister Ty’nasia. I miss my little brother, Diante’. I miss my mother and my grandmother, my aunts and my uncles and my cousins. I miss those whom I have spent some very, very fun and exciting times with at Chick Fil A. Shoutout to the hard workers at Chick Fil A, Dee, Libby and Ms. Patty, who I knew I could always count on, to talk God with me and to play gospel music on her radio while we worked. I miss y’all like hell. I miss Ms. Lisa and “Good ole Mr. Don”, who would hook me up with a hot cup of coffee and some good food after church on Sundays. I miss Bandit [one of their many dogs] and even Ashley [one of their dogs who is both blind and deaf] too.

See y’all soon.

I don’t even know why I’m typing this. Maybe it’s because somebody needs to read this. Maybe somebody needs to be inspired. Maybe someone needs to make a big jump, a big leap and they need the encouragement to do so. Maybe someone is hell bent on quitting their job, but they don’t know what the future will hold for them once they do it. Maybe someone out there is about to start school, and they fear that their major, although it’s what they love and it’s what they’re passionate about, won’t make them any money. Maybe somebody has been dying to make that big move, and whether it be from one city to another or from one state to another, they need to overcome some of that fear or anxiety. This is for you.

Do it. Go for it. Take that leap of faith. And if it works out, then great. If it doesn’t, there’s always redemption and second chances. Passion is like a bird leaving it’s nest for the very first time. Either you’re gonna fly, or you’re gonna fall. But you won’t ever know until you test your wing’s durability.

For the sake of struggle, for the sake of perseverance, for the sake of love and for passion, for the sake of dreaming, for the sake of walking boldly in seemingly absurd decisions, for the sake of uniqueness, for the sake of individuality, for the sake of life—only one of it, I say….