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  • Writer's pictureHey Draughter

On The Run: A San Franciscan Anniversary

One year ago I packed up two suitcases, a duffle and a backpack, to trade in open container laws for legalized cannabis and humidity for Indian summers. 

Weeks before I moved I was spiraling— having phone interviews with companies, and informational interviews with colleagues of friends. My daily routine  of three-a-day workouts and job hunting. It was literally the only thing I knew at the time. I had a moment where I was interviewing in damn near every major city because my soul was ready to run away from home. I was running because I was tired, I was frustrated with not getting anywhere in terms of my real career goals, and I was at a point where I could no longer be an unauthentic version of myself. 

Moving away from one of the best places on earth wasn’t easy. New Orleans is my home and I moved to a place with practically nothing for almost a whole season. It took me a while to get on my feet, to get adjusted, to make new friends. And in the process of making shit happen, I realized that I was still on the run. 

But, moving always does a few things for you, and in my distance I found peace, time, and serenity to finally support my own breath. 

In 365 days I made a home, met amazing friends, fell in love with new people, was betrayed by those closest to me, restored old friendships, and experienced growing pains like no other.

At 22, I decided to take the biggest risk that I’ve ever taken. People told me that I wouldn’t be able to move because I wasn’t financially ready. People told me that there were other places not as far away with better opportunities. I let people’s own insecurities about being uncomfortable cloud my judgment. But, I sat. I prayed. I listened to my heart. And I knew that the thought of moving gave me an indescribable peace.

September 29th will always be one of the most important days of my life. I was on the run. Sprinting towards my dreams of a career, true self-love, and unplanned adventures. 

But, this past year has also taught me one of the most important lessons: no one can ever validate you. All of the love, peace, and joy you will ever want lives inside of you. And to remember that, you gotta do the following: 

  1. Do that thing that scares every nerve in your core. 

  2. Believe in yourself when no one else does. 

  3. When you decide to make the change, do routine things you’ve always done to remind yourself that you’re still the same, (but you have to accept that you will change over time).

  4. Let your new environment happen to you and change you for the better.

  5. Don’t be afraid to put yourself on the map. You’re new. No one knows you. Meet people. Try new things. Make some new mistakes.  

  6. Just be. Be present. Be in the moment. Be aware that you’ve done this new life thing and take some time to bask in it. It’ll be uncomfortable. It’ll be hard. You won’t know what the fuck you’re doing for half of it, but just be in it. Make your life a verb and don’t talk about what you’ll do. Just live it. 

In just a little over a year, I’ve found my peace. I’ve found love. I’ve found happiness. Not in the job that I go to every day or preparing to fall in love again, but I’ve found a deep sense of validation and happiness within myself. 

I’ve gone through a crazy amount of pain, and I’ve had some pretty big wins. I’ve made some crucial best friends that I never expected on making. All because I was running towards a better version of me. 

-your nigga at 23.

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