you ever smelled something and though "aaaaaah! that smells like ____ (insert something intangible)"?? like "aaaah that smells like Birmingham, Alabama" or "wow that smells like September"?? well, if you haven't, just use your imagination.
right now it's early September and it smells like September.
last year this time, i had threw my shit in 2 or 3 duffle bags and hopped on a Greyhound bus with a one-way ticket to NYC. crazy? not really....well, maybe.
i've been wanting to come to NYC since maybe High School, but i just figured New York would kind of come to me....like some friend of mine would just move to New York and need a roommate or some school in New York giving away scholarships to Alabama natives would beckon me to the city. but that never happened and when my lease in the apartment i was staying at with my homegirl Taylor came up for renewal, she moved to be with her boyfriend and i asked myself why not New York and why not now? if not now, then when?
in the south, i think, (or maybe this is everywhere) complacency is probably one of the easiest mentalities to inhabit. i had some pretty good things in the south. my family and friends were there, i could stay with my parents free of rent or rent out a house for like $400 (yes ridiculous! it's difficult to find even a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn for $400 thats not in dump you'll have to get a gun permit to live in) and my town was pretty safe. but at some point, there are risks to be taken.
i didn't come up here for a job, or even school (although i may have said it at the time). i just came up here simply for some new experiences. i wanted to know what it was like living in a building or even a city with people from 7 or 8 different backgrounds; what it was like to be in a neighborhood of hundreds of people of color; be in a grocery store that sells a bunch of shit i can't even pronounce with 5 or 6 different languages beings spoken. i also wanted to get involved in things that interested me; see lectures from people i admire; go to book fairs and national landmarks. and while some of these can be done in the south, they wouldn't be nearly the same as in New York.
and i have done all of those things. met some amazing people; got involved in some progressive, positive, and enlightening organizations; lived in a neighborhood where there is Hebrew, Creole, English, Spanish being spoken almost all of the time; went to some rad parties; seen some people i admire (Cornel West, Sia, Stacey Ann Chin) and learned too many things to name.
so i think September (if not every month of the year) should be devoted to doing whatever the fuck you want. seriously. if you want to go after a degree that you KNOW you want and you have no idea what you'll do with it-do it. if you want to go to a different country just for the hell of it-do it. if you want to move to a different town just because you're bored with where you are now-do it. even if it is somewhat dangerous-plan ahead thoroughly and roll with it.
comment. think. travel. DO. push the envelope. act a fool. whatever.