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A New Adventure

Jan 24

Posted by: ACHA
1/24/2012 3:34 PM  RssIcon

By Clare Almand

I just did something huge.

I moved from my parents’ house in our suburban town of Arlington, Virginia, to my friend’s couch in New York City.

It started with a lifelong dream to be in the entertainment industry and ended with not being able to go another day at my office job. Several key items made this move possible:

  1. All my friends (with a couple exceptions) were already up there.
  2. I had a place to crash for as long as I needed.
  3. I landed several entertainment-related internships.
  4. And I had the blessing of everyone I know (family, friends, co-workers, boss, cardiologist, etc.)

This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And I say that, because the scariest things of all are the unknowns in our lives. I know what heart surgery is like. I know what being in the hospital is like. Those things don’t have the power they used to because they’ve become regular occurrences. Navigating the subway in Midtown Manhattan during rush hour, on the other hand, scares the crap out of me.

I’ve taken on a lot of change at once and just one month ago, I wasn’t sure that I could actually do it. I came up for five days for a series of interviews and I broke down almost as soon as I arrived. Am I really going to drop everything, leave my family and move up to a strange city and work for a bunch of unpaid internships? If I’m so terrified to drive a car in the town I grew up in, how can I possibly adjust to living in a new place?

But then I remembered to breathe. And like every trauma, to take it one day at a time. I’ve been here ten days. Some days have been better than others, but I haven’t completely freaked out yet. I haven’t bought a bus ticket home. I haven’t called my mother crying that coming here was a mistake. I’m still here. I’m doing it. It’s all happening!

I believe we’re all tougher than we realize. We know that we can survive certain things, but there are still those unknowns, like taking a chance on our dreams, that we don’t think are possible. Every day we’re trying so hard to be “normal” that we forget how special we really are and how strong we are.

My new goal: stop being afraid to live. My new mantra: I’ve had my chest cracked, so I can do anything.

Clare Almand was born with Shone’s syndrome and has undergone a repair for coarctation of the aorta, multiple atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect repairs, aortic valve replacement and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation. She has a B.A. in Media Arts and Design with a minor in Creative Writing from James Madison University. Clare pushes paper during the day and writes screenplays in her spare time. 

Tags: Clare Almand
Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

2 comment(s) so far...


Re: A New Adventure

Another Arlingtonian! Hurrah for you for being so brave to move and try something new. That takes guts. When I was a new college graduate I wanted to get out of Virginia and try life in the Midwest. Only lasted 3 months before returning home - mainly because of lack of job opportunities. LOL!

I agree with you though about taking risks and you'll only get stronger as you take those risks in life. If you are ever visiting folks in Arlington, I'd love to meet you - you can PM me, KatrinaI.

By Katrina on   1/24/2012 3:51 PM

Re: A New Adventure

Welcome to town!:)) Unfortunately, midtown rush hour is part of my life as well, twice a day, 5 days a week:). Trust me, in a few months you won't even notice it. Enjoy this part of your life and see you around:)

By Petya on   1/24/2012 4:23 PM

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