I left Long Island, New York when I was 18 years old. At the time, it was
intended expected that I'd be back once I completed my business degree. But that never happened. Seven years after my big move, I'm still here. I'm still residing in Charlotte.
The first few years of living in Charlotte were rough, especially that first one. All I wanted to do was go back home. I kept blaming myself for the series of unfortunate events that kept happening. I kept thinking that if I would've just stayed my bratty ass in New York & went to York College or LaGuardia community college (or even Nassau community college) that none of this would've happened.
But you know what? If I would've stayed, I would've still been living in my aunt's house, in her downstairs studio apartment with my mother. Yeah, I could've went to college for free (something I didn't think about until later on in life) and shit. But what would've happened after I graduated though? Have you seen them rent prices in New York? I wouldn't have been going anywhere. I couldn't accept that reality.
However, my reality Charlotte was no better. Sharing a one bedroom apartment with my mother, both trying to find stable jobs, trying to pay bills AND keep food on the table. School refunds were running low, had to ask relatives and friends for loans just so we could eat. Having to go to crisis centers and social services just to make ends meet; just to survive. That was my reality.
But when the dust (temporarily) settled, I no longer desired to move home except on 2 other occasions: journalism jobs and my (ex) boyfriend. Outside of that, I was over New York. It's overrated, overpopulated, and over expensive. And I can say that because I'm a native. Charlotte was starting to feel like home. Great food, the price of living was/is decent, and it's warm weather most of the time. I started to accept my life as it was in Charlotte because the only way I was moving back to NYC is if I had a poppin' job and my own place OR if I had gotten engaged (to my then ex bf). No roommates over here b.
I came to terms that my life was gonna be here in Charlotte. Then out of the blue, I started to feel different. Though I'm used to Charlotte, I'm bored with Charlotte. Trust and believe, I'm not as interesting as I seem on Twitter. My life in Charlotte is bleak. There's nothing for me here. Nada. Zilch.
But where am I supposed to go?
"What you need to do is take a few days off and travel to different places and see where feels like home for you," my Charlotte bestie said. This wasn't the first time we've had these talks. We've both expressed our desire to leave Charlotte and NC overall (she's from VA originally), but where in the hell are we supposed to go? One time, we pulled out a map of the U.S. and ruled out just about everywhere on the map based on weather, cost of living, location, job market, and if colored folks lived there. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg-York area was the only area we could possibly come up with. Well, at least we're already here. *shrugs*
I discussed moving back to NY a few times over the years. After my breakup, I swore that I was not moving to New York. And if I did, it was with good reason. But after that pain semi-healed (still working through some things with that), I felt like it would be okay to move to New York or New Jersey. More so the latter because it's not NY, just near it. But if I moved back, it wouldn't be Long Island so maybe I can do this. Or... Maybe not. I haven't stepped foot in NY in over two years.
"You should go back to NY and see if it's a right fit for you, now. See how it feels without the attachment (ex boyfriend)." - Charlotte bestie.
She's right, maybe I should. But that doesn't take away the fact that it is cold and expensive. Where the hell am I gonna find $1500+ every month for rent sans a roommate? All that money for studio/one bedroom that may or may not be in a decent area? Though rental prices in Charlotte are creeping up as well, at least I can get a bang for my buck. There's also the possibility I can be a homeowner a lot faster down here and pay less in mortgage than rent. But even so, would I be happy? Will paying $1500+/month make me happy? I don't really know.
Maybe I should do a fake eat pray love tour and see where the shoe fits. I'm not sure where I belong. I've been thinking on and off about moving to the DMV but their prices aren't much better than New York. I'm convinced that I would enjoy Cali (after getting over my earthquake fear) but that too is expensive and a drastic move. Texas was always a small, cute dream of mine. But I wouldn't be able to handle their unpredictable weather. I don't know where I'm going. I never do.
I'll always be a New Yorker but what do you do when New York may no longer be home for you?