Getting After It

 
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My dad has recently become infatuated with the CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Or, more specifically, his SiriusXM show…and more specifically yet, its tagline.

During his regular commutes to Chicago, Detroit, or any number of other Rust-Beltian hubs, my dad needs something to listen to. Often, it’s the oldies. Frequently, it’s Stephen King’s newest novel…and more frequently yet, it’s been Chris Cuomo.

The thing my dad loves the most about the show, however, is not the content; it’s not the news, the politics, or the guests. It’s the damn slogan. The slogan! A slogan that, for whatever reason, my father has taken to (so much so that he often texts it to me out of the blue just to annoy me):

Let’s get after it.

“Hey, Han,” he’ll say, leaving me a voicemail at two in the afternoon. “Let’s…get…afterit.” His chuckle barely waits for the words to leave his lips.

As silly (and annoying - just gonna be honest) as my dad’s teasing and #letsgetafterit might be, I’ve been thinking about the motto a lot these past few weeks. Life has definitely been throwing me. There have not only been the “easy” monsters - the relationship transitions, the school stressors, the financial uncertainties - but existential ones, as well. Continuing health decline. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts. The death of a close friend.

I haven’t known what I’ve wanted for my life, or if I’ve even wanted one at all. For so long, nothing has felt right. Nothing has felt. I wake up and return to sleep, unable to remember anything from my drowsy in-between other than a slice of dry toast and the color of my walls.

But I don’t want to do that anymore.

I’ve stumbled across something that feels right, and I’m not the first one to do so. It’s called New York City.

I’m done living in limbo. I’m done waiting to find out what comes next. I know what I want, and I’m going to find a way to get it no matter what. No back up plan, no hesitations.

So here it is, people of the world: I’m graduating in May from the University of Michigan with a major in creative writing and a minor in digital studies, and then I’m moving to NYC to write. You know what they say - if you move, the job will come. (Right?…) This dream, one I’ve had for years but have been too scared to name, has finally grabbed me by the lapels. Tunnel vision is in full effect. The checklist is growing.

The thing that suprises me most about this process of dream-chasing, though, isn’t how happy I am with my decision (although, given how much work it’ll take, along with the current balance of my bank account, I should probably be a lot more afraid). What surprises me most is how motivated I feel to get it all done.

I need to…

  • finish my resume and cover letter(s),

  • apply to jobs,

  • land a job,

  • research cystic fibrosis clinics in NYC,

  • switch over my insurance to one that works in the state of New York,

  • graduate college (!!!),

  • sell 99% of my belongings,

  • find an apartment,

  • say goodbye to my family and friends (and therapist haha [brb crying]),

  • learn NYC public transit, and

  • figure out how the hell to break free of this horrible respiratory infection cycle that I’ve been stuck in for the past five years.

But instead of feeling paralyzed, I feel alive. For the first time in months, I actually feel excited about my own life.

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So, I’m getting after it. Because I want to. Thus far, “getting after it” has included lots of drawing, writing, reading, and drooling over articles and images of New York, New York, and that feels A-OK to me.

Maybe when the Universe doesn’t point you in any sort of direction, it’s because you’re supposed to turn inwards, listen to your gut, and decide for yourself what kind of life you’re meant to live.

Then, you gotta say ‘no’ to everything that isn’t that.