This year has been a year of change. It has been one year since my move to Philly. This year has brought up many emotions. Some have been: excitement, fear, doubt, joy, and hesitation, though the pertinent emotion I have felt, besides hope, has been gratitude.
I didn’t move for school, for a job, or for a family engagement. I simply moved to experience something different, to experience change. Personally, change can be challenging. I am a fairly easy going person, but the road less traveled induced a just amount of anxiety.
It is not that I didn’t love Providence (where I was living), I did. I made much creative headway there and surrounded myself with a wonderful circle, but it began to feel small. The fact that I had no commitments keeping me there, helped me realize I could pick up and move anywhere. So I decided to take an adventurous leap and let change enter my life, I am grateful I was lucky enough to take on my venture. And lucky enough to have remarkable friends and family who helped me along the way!
Philly is an interesting place and has the perks of most large metropolises’. There is a lively arts scene, much academia, and a diverse culture. These things are immeasurable and they fuel me. The people I have met in the last year are extremely positive, forward-thinking, and kind.
Though, there is a lot of poverty in Philadelphia, which can be distressing. I put my best foot forward and do what I can to stay positive. I reach out to the community, talk with friends, and pay attention to self-care, to lift my blues.
As I reach 38 next year, it becomes clearer every day, how life’s only constant is change. It can become abrupt and scary, but it is a loving place.
Without gratitude, I would never survive.
Who knows if Philly will be my forever home, all I know right now, is my present.
And I am grateful for that.
Ashley Ernest (City Manager of PHL Lady Project, Jewelry Artist & Arts Educator, A Different Kind of Fine is her jewelry line, www.adifferentkindoffine.com.)