Everyone knows that where you are from in large part makes you the person you are. The person you become is a result of where you choose to take your life. Being from a small town in North Carolina, I was brought up exactly how one might suspect. I was taught religion, good manners, and how to be a lady. Coming from a family of good, hardworking, respectable people meant I had a solid foundation towards a nice future.
As I mentioned in my first post, I had wanted to move to New York from the time I was a child. This dream stemmed from a family vacation with my friend Heather. Her family took me with them to New York when I was eleven years old, and from that moment I never saw the world the same. My town was so small, and as much as I loved it there, I had been exposed to something so much bigger and I was forever obsessed. It was so glamorous and larger than life. I didn’t know why, but I wanted to be a part of it. I remember seeing the women wearing sneakers with their suits, carrying their heels in their handbags, and thinking, “I want to be like those women.”
Both my parents are college educated which set the tone for that course of my life. There was never a doubt that I would go to college. I wanted to be in a city, so I chose to go to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I spent eight years in Charlotte, four in school and four working there after I graduated. I certainly needed Charlotte as a buffer for the most culturally diverse city on the planet. Prior to Charlotte I had very little exposure to other cultures. In my hometown, it seemed everyone was Christian, and either white, black, or Latino. Charlotte has a mix of all types of race, religion, and culture. My time spent there prepared me insurmountably for my move here. Without that buffer I do not know if I would have adjusted as well as I have.
I find my personal evolution quite interesting, which is a major part of why I started this blog. My foundation was built on morals and manners- so no matter what changes I go through, that part of me stays the same. I always try my very hardest to do the right thing and be polite. My time in Charlotte educated me on different types of people and how to relate and adapt. I adjusted my Southern accent to be more neutral. In addition, I worked there in sales for 4 years, so I learned how to be a woman in business. Now that I am in New York, I have already noticed some changes. I’m more assertive and opinionated for sure, but I still practice good manners and wear my heart on my sleeve. I give to the poor when I can, I smile at everyone, and I offer my seat on the train if someone seems like they need it more than me. That’s just how I was raised.
I am still evolving and hopefully always will be. You have to take life one step at a time, and the key is to keep dreaming. Don’t ever think it is silly to believe in your dreams, because they do come true. I know this because I am now a New York woman who wears sneakers on her walk to work and carries her heels in her handbag- and I can’t help but smile when I see a little girl watching me as I pass by.
Me with my mama circa 1991
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