New York CitySep 26, 2021
Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you in better living conditions.
My niece is the first human life that I witnessed from her very first moment in this world.
I have always loved her and she has always been a free spirit.
As long as I can remember, she’s been wanting to live in New York City. I can’t remember why, I can just remember that she’s always wanted to live there.
She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. First Washington state and then Oregon, so NYC always seemed so random to me. Nonetheless. The heart wants what the heart wants. It’s always been in the back of her mind.
Separately, she has also wanted to have her own dog.
Last October, an opportunity came up for her to be a dog owner while she was living and working in Portland. Precisely that same week, she was offered a chance to work in her creative field in New York CIty.
What would you do?
Have you dreamed of something really badly and then when faced with the opportunity of taking the plunge were frozen with indecision?
I mean she was already very happy in Portland: Countless friends for the past 5 years. Her beautifully decorated apartment. All of her favorite coffee shops. Her running routes. Even the chance to finally have her own dog.
What about NYC though?
This big deep desire and dream that never seemed to go away.
We got to talk about this over the phone. She was appropriately emotional.
It wasn’t like she was running away from a bad situation to a better one. Her life was already amazing.
If this was your moment, could you live with yourself if you never jumped on the chance of doing the one thing you always wanted to do?
I mean on one hand we have security, contentment and safety.
On the other hand we have
New York Freaking City.
Is it though?
See, that’s when Fear comes in. Just to be sure someone will listen, Fear will bring Doubt along for back up.
“What if I can't find a good place to live? Will I find new friends? How far would my home be from work? How long is the flight to get back home to visit my family? What if I hate it?”
Fear is your friend. You won’t believe me, but she is. She is there to protect you. Her voice gets louder, the closer we get to take on an adventure. The second we want to leave safety and security, she will offer you her unsolicited advice.
Then Wonder speaks up:
“But it will be amazing! You've been wanting to do this all of your life. Could you live with yourself if you didn’t move?”
See I am a palliative care physician. In my line of work, there is another voice that gets pretty loud near the end of life. That voice is Regret. When you are getting close to the end of your life, I hope you lived a life where you heard what Fear had to say, but then asked her nicely to take a back seat and gave Wonder a minute to stand up and speak up.
What if you were to be happy whether you stayed or whether you went?
If both ways were amazing, which road would move your spirit?
When you are 70 years old, will you look back at your life decisions and smile?
I want that for you.
I also want you to love your reasons.
In life, whether you decide to stay in Portland or up and move to NYC, I want you to make a decision and be happy with the decision that you made. Your life is tremendously precious and whatever story you want to create for yourself: I want you to believe that you are able to do so.
I don’t want you to wonder how things would have turned out for you. That’s how you should live your life.
What is YOUR New York City?
Are you living a life that is filled with wishes and wants yet so little action?
What kind of story will you be telling your grandkids?
I know what story my niece will tell:
She went to New York City and followed her dreams.
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