This past weekend I binge-watched the first three episodes of the new Freeform show, The Bold Type. I had been anticipating it for months and it completely delivered, tugging at my heartstrings a bit. When I dreamed about my future in high school and college, I saw exactly what the show’s three main characters were living out: writing for a women’s magazine, attending rooftop parties, and living in swanky apartment buildings. It was everything I worked for from the time I was 15 (well, as much as a girl in upstate New York could).
But then a funny thing happened.
The recession hit and the economy tanked in 2008. Print newspapers and magazines were declared a dying field. When I graduated in 2010, the job market was bleak, to say the least. And I didn’t exactly have the type of parents who would float me in NYC until I found a job. So I dragged my sorry ass back home and developed a Plan B.
Fast forward to now, having just hit my two-year anniversary of living in Charlotte, North Carolina as a PR girl, a provisional member of The Junior League, and someone who, when in doubt, puts a monogram on it. If future-me had tried to tell college-me that I would end up living in the South, I’d have said, “Betch, go home. You’re drunk.” (Remember, this was 2007.)
But if you allow yourself to let go of previous versions of how your life was supposed to be, you’re able to become your best self. Say yes to new opportunities, even if they weren’t in your original 5-year plan. Give yourself room to grow. While I never saw the southeastern United States in my future (other than for vacation), I recently told a friend, “I feel like this is who I was always meant to be.” And I truly believe that.
I created my own Park Avenue.
I look out my office window at skyscrapers (that are reaching towards a much bluer sky) and I’m genuinely happy, perhaps for the first time. When I walk Rufio at night I glance through the windows of the row homes here in South End and wonder who lives there, much like I once yearned for a Brooklyn brownstone where I could raise city kids of my own. I know that in reality you can’t even compare the two, but in my heart, it feels pretty darn close.