3 Things South Florida Will Teach You That New York Will Not
Have you ever been forced out of your comfort zone and placed in a new area that constantly makes you ask yourself, why am I even here?! Granted I did have a reason for being there (finishing my Masters), I still asked myself that question the first couple months after moving to Florida. I knew no one and had little to no connections. I felt like I traded my “fabulous” fast pace life in New York for something that was too slow for me. When you are in a situation like that, accepting where God has placed you in a new season can be difficult. I was stubborn to even try and enjoy it at times. But when I embraced this change and chose to be content in it no matter what, it made room for new possibilities that I never thought would blossom. In my two years in Florida, I learned so many things that I know I wouldn’t have been able to pick up in New York. Below are 3 of the most important tips that enabled me to redirect my steps towards future growth and success that I would like to share with you:
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
When I moved to Florida, the first thing that annoyed me was that everyone walked too slow. I’m not gunna to lie, the hustle and bustle of New York can be very attractive, almost thrilling in a way. But after a while you start to ask yourself, what is all the rush about? Why is everyone rushing all the time? And why am I rushing all the time? At one point I started to see that I was keeping myself busy just to be busy because everyone else was busy. But was I being effective?
As Pastor Mike would ask, Are you striving or striding? What does your pace look like? Is your busyness (see what I did there ;D) producing fruit or is it a mismanagement of your time? Instead of rushing, take time. Be thoughtful about your actions and strategize well. Do it at your own pace and not anyone else’s. Whatever you release should be released when it is fully ripe and ready to eat. Do not rush the process and then fall to producing fruit that is not good for consumption just so you can meet everyone else’s deadline. Drop the dead weight (that is anything that is not producing fruit in your life), fix your eyes on Jesus, and keep your focus on your own race at the pace that God has graced you for.
Hebrews 12: 1-3 “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Proverbs 4: 25-27 “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
2. SLEEP IS EXTREMELY NECESSARY
The city that never sleeps (a phrase New York proudly uses to describe itself) is also the city to have at least one in five adult New Yorkers likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year (and this statistic is increasing by the way). However, it has been proven that taking a break increases productivity and creativity. So not just sleep is necessary but also rest. How about you try doing nothing for once? Yes, I said it! Absolutely Nothing.
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the fathers of Science, had his eureka moment about gravity simply sitting in his mother’s garden. Imagine what you could come up with if you took the time to just rest.
3. OPPORTUNITY IS NOT JUST WHERE YOU ARE. IT IS WHO YOU ARE.
New York does an amazing job marketing itself as the place where creatives thrive. Some of us have moved our whole lives over there in search of opportunities that we believed only New York could offer as if New York is what would get us to “making it” level. Well, what if I told you opportunity is not only in a place. It is also in you.
When I moved to Florida I couldn’t bring my sewing machine or my tools. I didn’t feel like myself without them and I almost felt like I could not create without them. On top of that, Florida was not really the most fashion-forward place (in my eyes) so I questioned who I would even be designing for. But when I realized that my value and identity doesn’t lay in what I do but in who God says I am- A Conqueror (Romans 8:37), Precious (Isiah 43:4), Unforgettable (Isiah 49:15), Victorious ( 1 Corinthians 15:57), Loved (John 3:16) - I realized that creativity is within me. Because He did not choose to live in the hands of my tools. He decided to live in me. I know now that if someone dropped me in the middle of a desert and came back 5 months later, that same desert would be unrecognizable. Therefore, it doesn’t matter where you are. As long as you are with God opportunity will always follow.
By opening up my heart to God’s will for me I was able to accept a new perspective on my situation and grow. After a some time, I started to discover other skills aside from fashion design that I developed a passion for. I was able to rebuilt my clientele and my brand from scratch in a whole new location.
A month ago I was in Florida. My farewell outfit to this beautiful flamingo state was my mothers vintage jacquard Bolero jacket worn with my 3 Tiered Denim Jeans. These jeans were a part of a series called #latenightdiys that I started in Florida and plan to continue moving forward. Now that I am back home I am looking forward to the things I will be creating in this new desert I call Largo, Maryland.
Farewell Florida, you have taught me so much! I can’t wait to visit again! Check out the look below:
Photographed by @baroquedavinciart