November 15th, 2016
Story originally written and experienced: January 28th, 2016
“I have a company happy hour but I’ll hurry to meet you there after that.”
“No worries!” she said. “Show doesn’t start until midnight anyway. There’s a Mexican restaurant nearby we can meet at beforehand.”
To which I said:
And the plans were set.
At 9 PM on that chilly January evening, I b u sted through the Mexican restaurant’s doors post happy hour feeling just fine after copious amounts of complimentary Prosecco.
Megan hadn’t arrived yet, so I parked myself at the bar and read the menu 13 times over to look occupied and cool while I waited.
I saw her bundled-up body push through the doors a few minutes later.
“Hey! Over here!” I motioned as she started walking my way.
We were dining at 9 PM and catching a midnight show on a Thursday—which wasn’t unusual for us—but tonight, more than ever, I really wanted to be there.
Because I had this feeling I was going to move away soon.
I could just feel it.
And I needed someone to talk to about it, and I knew Megan would be the perfect person for the occasion. I’ve always loved my talks with her.
She’s one of the few people I’ve met in my life that has really and truly altered my perspective on almost everything.
She’s a woman of impulse anchored in reason. And in a moment, you’ll see what I mean.
We ordered 2 margaritas and an entree each.
“I might be leaving New York soon, Megan,” I blurted out right away. “But I’m scared. I know it’s the refresh I need in my life, and ultimately the most sensible thing to do for my long-distance relationship, but…I feel like I’d be leaving behind too many things I love. Way too many things. So I’m scared.”
She looked at me very calmly and smiled as she took a quick sip of her drink. “Let me ask you this,” she said. “When you wake up every day, what are 3 vital things you know you need no matter what?”
“In my life right now?”
“Yes, in your life right now.”
“Um…let’s see. Well, writing, good food, and good friends, I guess.”
“…Why do you say that?”
“Because you don’t need New York for any of those things.”
She stated matter-of-factly, “So there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
She was right.
Even after I danced the night away with her to DJ Moon Boots, slept on it, and thought about other things I needed the next day—a stimulating environment, great career opportunities, etc.—I realized that it wasn’t New York that I needed, it was those 3 vital things, and New York was simply one of the many places that had them.
That realization was huge for me, and suddenly I wasn’t so scared anymore.
Especially after this happened:
Two weeks later, Megan told me she was going to leave New York City too. “I’m thinking three weeks,” she said with relaxed certainty.
“Three weeks?!” I cried.
“Yeah. It feels right. Los Angeles is something I’ve always wanted to try, the vital things I know I need still exist out there, the cost of living is lower, I just bought a wetsuit and I really want to surf…so why not?”
And three weeks later she was gone.
She was impulsive but anchored in reason, leaving me in the inspirational dust as I slowly but surely packed my bags to move to Austin, Texas, 6 months later, following in her adventurous footsteps.
And when the day came to actually go, I realized:
Megan cured me of my ignorance. And I’m not even sure she knew it.
So I decided to tell her.
I reached out to her recently and asked her if she remembered that conversation we had at that Mexican Restaurant in Brooklyn. She said, “Of course. How could I forget? It’s why I’m here and why you’re there. And seeing as I’m surfing every day and you sound so damn happy, it’s just proof those 3 vitals things really are what we need—no matter what.”