Akure Chronicles Part 3: This is lesson learned.

I've been in a permanent state of reflection lately. I've found myself constantly analyzing my state of mind and making sure it’s a happy one. The great news: It has been a happy one, that is I truly feel that I’m in a solid, great place right now, doing exactly what I need to be doing — and that’s really how I’ve felt, more or less, for the entire past 3 months.

Since moving to Ak , I have been tested as never before, mostly in ways that have made me question just how capable I am of well, anything. Life is a “DIY” experience here, and as tough as it can be, it’s also infinitely rewarding. I know those who don’t live here are quick to dismiss people’s view with this city, and often tired of reading about how crazy it is, or how fun it is here – and on and on. Personally, I have found that it is the craziest and most fun place I have lived so far, and I have never met so many successful and driven people in one place. But, what I’ve learned since moving here is more about striking out on your own wherever. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons here, and a lot of truths about “the real world,” and here are a few:

1. Nothing stays the same - This is probably my favorite lesson yet in that it applies to everything. Do you remember that guy you never thought you'd get over? Or that friend you were going to grow old with? How about that year you wanted to train to be a pilot? All those things that you were so sure of have come and gone, and it turned out not to be such a bad thing. Being in a new place has made that even clearer to me. Nothing stays the same - even if you stay where you are, your friends come and go. Or you might get assigned to a new position, in a new country or city, and before you know it, your life is completely different as hard as it might feel at the time, there is absolute truth in the saying 'This too shall pass'.

2. You have to put yourself out there: Being in a new place can be surprisingly lonely place. Though this is not the first time I’ve lived so far from many of my friends at one time but there have been nights when I’ve wondered if they all completely forgot about me. You have to put yourself out there and keep in touch, make new friends if you can but never forget those that matter the most.

3. People will ask you for things constantly: For contacts, where you got your shoes, who your hair stylist is, what your rent is, if you want drinks, etc. It's a real "DO ask & maybe tell" policy around here. What better way to fit in right?

4. Always have cash on you never count on ATMs.

5. Someone will ALWAYS be doing better than me: So what if “everyone” around me seems to be getting some funfilled day while I toil in the pit of work or artistry. There’s such a variation of paths and aspirations in this city— I just remind myself that my path is my own, even if it seems a bit rockier than I’d like.  

6. Spend money on experiences, not things: In a city where every penny needs to be accounted for and budgeted, difficult choices must be made: as in, do I need those new shoes or do I want to go out this weekend? Sure, in the physical realm, the shoes will last longer than hanging out. But AK is a place to be experienced, not purchased. You need to see and smell and hear and feel the street under your feet to get a feel for the soul of this place — like any other. And the memories created by such will surely last longer than the shoes or maybe not. Let’s be realistic just buy the shoes.  

7. It’s okay to get lost: I am incredibly anxious . I take it as a personal weakness if I don’t show up for work at least 10 minutes early I constantly check the clock on my phone while silently urging myself to hurry up. Needless to say, getting lost and losing time are not in my vocabulary. I was hoping a new place would solve this problem, and it somewhat has. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea where I am going, but I’ve realized that it’s part of the fun of being in a new city. In the long run it’s ok to get lost and find your way back.

8. I learned that AK is a city full of warm souls, bumpy roads, yelling goats and the most sensational local foods.

9. I learned that when you take away my modern comforts and conveniences, I'm not as tough as I think I am.    

10. I've learned that I'm really only getting started with writing, living and loving. I'm standing on the edge, and my arms, heart and mind are open - BRING IT ON!