The other day, a few of my friends and I were discussing where we’d like to live after post secondary. The majority of them were set on a specific place, while the others at least had a few viable options. When I was asked where I had in mind, I realized that I didn’t have an answer. The only sure thing in my mind was that it needed to be far away, allowing an accepting environment, full of endless opportunity. I wanted to be able to create myself completely, banking on the hope that very few people, if anyone, would have any idea who I was. I wanted freedom, acceptance, new people, and immeasurable and opportunities for new experiences.

When considering post secondary options, I refused to stay close enough to my home town that I would run into people I knew. I had no desire to see people who had a predetermined idea of what kind of person I was. Growing up in a small town created an environment where everyone knew your name, where you lived, your family, your past relationships, your dog’s name, etc. etc. Basically, you weren’t given the chance to just be yourself, you were always whomever others thought you were. There was no escaping everything you were connected to, no way of being able to be your own person, void of your relation’s past mistakes, and the reputation that people had created for you.

I decided on a city about five hours from my home town and was thrilled with my choice. The more I looked into housing, classes and schedules, possible work opportunities, and even cute little touristy destinations within the city, the more excited I became. This would be a place where I could be myself completely. I could chose what impression to make on others, knowing full well that it would be the first. Even now, the excitement has not settled or decreased in any way; I will be my best self and create a beautiful, colourful reputation for myself. The more passionate I became about this city, the more I wanted to look further.

Next stop: New York City. Although I’ve always dreamed of visiting the big apple, I never expected myself to have a desire to live there. However, the sparkling skyline, the bustling streets, and the mystery of what such a massive city could offer me fully entranced my day-dreaming mind. Over 8 million people reside in New York City: I could meet a new person every day for decades. The work opportunities seemed endless as I researched and considered the multiple different career paths available to someone with my skill set. I hope one day to be able to stand in Times Square, among the flashing lights and hectic traffic and thousands of people, and feel completely isolated and alone. That feeling is one that I constantly long for: being surrounded by people, but completely alone intoxicates me.

YEG–>JFK will hopefully be a dream come true one day.