I still remember the conversation that made me take the biggest risk of my life. I was on a phone call with my friend who had moved to Philadelphia after High School to spend time with her father. I was 20 yrs old, and had never left Los Angeles and the East Coast was this magical land to me. I had seen it in movies and TV shows, and it always seemed to be “the” place to be when you were an adult. I was going through a small depression, and I just knew I needed to make a change. By the end of that 20 minute phone call, I told my friend “hey, do you need a roommate? I’m moving in.”
For a 20 yr old first generation Latina from a somewhat traditional household, this was not common. In fact, my family freaked. But, none were as freaked as I was. I mean really… what the hell was I doing? I knew ONE PERSON. Had no job, barely had somewhere to sleep, and did I mention, had NEVER LEFT L.A. BEFORE. Yup. But, I had made my decision and I took the biggest leap of my life. I sold my stuff, packed up some stuff and boarded my first flight ever and moved to Philadelphia. I was scared to death. For the first time in my life, I was completely on my own. I ended up living there for almost 10 years (long past the 6 months my family predicted). My time there was a lesson in learning to live independently, in learning who I was, who I wanted to be and what I valued the most. It was challenging and I got the biggest reward, I got to know myself better than I ever had and I became a strong, independent woman. I would never trade that time in my life for anything… it gave my husband, daughter.. and turned me into who I am.
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