I certainly get a knot in my stomach, thinking about all the things that could’ve been if I had stayed. I’d see my old friends. I’d be there for the great things. I’d explore new worlds. I’d experience things that just don’t exist anywhere else. But at the same time, I feel like Atlanta has embraced me in a way New York never would. It’s easy to be alone in NYC, and I liked that for a while. But here, I’m clearly part of a community. I feel important even to the people I don’t know. I see people on the street and think, “You and I may not know each other or be friends today, but we will be soon.”
I enjoy feeling like I’m part of something. As much as I found a place for myself in New York, I felt so incredibly lost. I had loved NYC so hard, and I couldn’t see a difference between what I wanted and what the City seemed to demand of me. I loved feeling like I was a small yet integral part of NYC. But eventually I lost that feeling and I changed. I’ll continue to change, and if I ever want to return, NYC will be there, but for now, Atlanta is home.