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joijni

Sunshine State To The Concrete Jungle

Jessica Hughee

Last month, I entered a new chapter in my life—I moved back to New York! I haven’t lived here since I was 12 so this is a different experience for me. People I have met thus far have given me odd looks whenever I tell them that I left Florida to return back to the Empire State.

“Why would you return to New York? It gets so cold!”

“It’s becoming more and more expensive to live in and around the city.”

Those are just a couple of examples of the responses that I have received. It got to the point where I would begin to doubt and ask myself, “Yeah, why am I back here?” 

Tracing back to a few months ago, I was ecstatic to leave everything behind. Each and every day felt the same, no spontaneity whatsoever. I earned my bachelor’s degree in television production and it was very difficult to find work related to my major. I didn’t feel like I was living—I was surviving.

Author Rachel Wolchin once stated, “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” I knew that if I remained where I was, I wasn’t going to evolve into the person that I am destined to be. But although I was excited to break free of my usual routine and begin a new chapter in my life, when the time approached for me to depart from everything that I was attached to, I froze and began to come up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t leave. A small fraction of myself was happy because I was in my comfort zone. If I performed the same routine, there would be no disappointments, and no disappointments means a content Jessie.

But to leave this world being content means that I am settling for less, and I am not meant to be a mediocre being.

This experience is teaching me a lesson: if you are given a chance to better yourself, take it. Don’t worry about who or what you’re leaving behind during the process—even if it’s your all-time favorite restaurant (coming to the realization that Chick Fil A wasn’t in my backyard anymore didn’t help the situation, but that’s only a trivial matter). Nothing is wrong with being selfish at times. You have to put your own interests at heart, and sometimes that includes leaving what you love behind.

It’s going to take a while to grow accustomed to a new environment, but I will be okay in due time. What gives me the confidence to move forward was the love and support from my loved ones, God, and the reminder to myself that I would much rather work on adjusting to change than pouting because I’ve been stuck in the same cycle.

So I’m okay now with the confused reactions and odd stares. I was confused at first as to why I’m here again but that adds excitement to my life story. Not everyone you encounter is going to understand your vision; that’s why it’s wise to not give everyone too much information—just let them see for themselves. 

Graduate school starts for me this upcoming fall and I’ll be furthering my studies in film and video production. This upcoming December will make two years that I have been out of school so that is another challenge coming my way. In the meanwhile, I am going to take advantage of this time to explore and work on my craft. I am definitely looking forward to the new experiences and the chance to share it with you all on here and on my vlog, so stay tuned!

With positive vibes,

Jessie Tayy