When I left, I was certain that I was leaving the best life and that I would never be truly happy elsewhere. Sometimes it's hard to see the changes that you've experienced until you're placed familiar. When I arrived in Minnesota, it was surprising and comforting to see everything the same: the same roads, same restaurants, same friends. But, I kept walking around my house feeling like the kitchen was smaller than it used to be. Literally, shorter than I remembered. I easily fell into old routines of appetizers with these friends here and coffee at these coffee shops, but couldn't shake the feeling that something something was different.
“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they're pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody's be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. It wouldn't be that, exactly. You'd just be different, that's all. ” J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
I'm surprised to discover that I have changed during my time in New Jersey. In lots of little and big and hard-to-explain ways. I'm more self-assured, more independent, more willing to dream crazy-sounding dreams, and 3/4 of an inch taller (or maybe I'm just standing straighter.)
I never thought that I would have the ability to create a life someplace new. Self-doubt and fear made that seem impossible. I've proven something huge to myself by making a life here in New Jersey.