Don’t Be Afraid To Do You

Don't Be Afraid To Do You

I recently moved to Nashville after a short stint at a job located in my hometown. I’m originally from a small town in southeast Alabama where the wild thing to do in high school was to ride out to someone’s peanut field, build a bonfire, and fill yourself with enough beer to make Wade Boggs envious. While I have little desire to move back, I do have a nostalgic feel for the hometown. I made some awesome friends who I could not see for four years and still start the conversation with, “Hey, fucker!” I was always the first one to say how much I hated the town in high school; however, looking back on it now, I wouldn’t pick another place in the US of A to go through all of my awkward adolescent years.

From rushing the field and throwing up on the 50-yard line after a blocked kick to win the game (the testosterone in me wants to say I crushed a case of Bud Light, but in reality I probably had three Gatorade and Vodkas and couldn’t see straight. “It goes straight to the blood stream, man”), to sitting in a friend’s living room arguing about what we were going to do on a Friday night. We had some damn good times.

I currently work in advertising, and my personal goal is to move to New York City after I gain a few more years of experience here. It’s the mothership for a lot of careers, especially in advertising, and it’s freaking New York City. It’s the hot 10 in high school all the girls wanted to be, and all the guys wanted to be with. I know rent is $4,000 a month to live in a cardboard box, BUT IT’S NEW YORK CITY. I could wax poetic about the city for the next two paragraphs, but I’ll spare you that torture. I’ve sacrificed a lot to keep this dream alive. I know people say your career isn’t everything, and it’s not, but it’s really damn important to me. I have a lot I want to accomplish before I find a girl, settle down, and become the old man yelling at drivers to slow down in the neighborhood.

My dilemma is that I almost feel internally guilty for having this dream. I never imagined it would be so tough to leave behind best friends, family, and everything that’s familiar to you. When I see the old crew back together via Snapchat, or hear about a night of drunken debauchery in our GroupMe, I would trade a lot to be there knocking back some cold ones with the fellas. Basically, FOMO is a fucking bitch. It’s become rare to see friends after moving six hours away from my hometown. I’m able to make the occasional tailgate, holiday, or wedding now that we’re all getting older, but it’s awful to know that people I used to see every day will only be seen 3 or 4 times a year.

Growing up is a bitch. I know that’s not any type of earth-shattering statement, but maybe this next part will be (or probably not since I would rival any fall Instagram for basicness). Shit is going to change whether you want it to or not, and if I stayed in my hometown, married, and settled down at the ripe age of 23 like most people in the south do, I would have been miserable. Every day would have felt like cruel and unusual punishment.

And if I had stayed? Things would have inevitably changed when we all got serious jobs, married, and had kids. You can’t cling to the past, no matter how badly you want to. The fact is, in life you’ve got to do what makes you happy. I knew that moving away and pursuing my dream was something I had to try so I could lie down at night and feel good about myself. Does it fucking suck sometimes? Is it tough to make new friends? Hell yes, to all those questions. At the end of the day, you’ve got to do you, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Know yourself and know what makes you happy, and go get it.

Image via Shutterstock

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Walton Dalton

Favorite spot was the Waffle House.

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