They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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Happiness is a choice

What I’ve noticed is it isn’t just people from back home who would give me a look of sympathy and an “oooh girl, you’re brave for agreeing to this” type of pep talk every time I mention where I moved from and where I moved to. Even people from Binghamton tended to look at me, completely dumbfounded, when I would tell them that I chose to move from beautiful, sunny southern California to grey, cold Binghamton. It’s crazy! I get a lot of, “but…why? Of all places?”

And I get it. Truly, I do. There are so many things I can do back home that I have to drive hours just to be able to do over here in Binghamton. There are so many different types of activities and places that I can go to in LA depending on what I feel like doing. Beach? Sure! Mountains? Sure! Desert? No problem! As for Binghamton, first I should explain that when I say “Binghamton,” I actually mean Binghamton, Endicott, and Johnson city (the “Triple Cities”) but I just call it Binghamton because really, if most people haven’t heard of Binghamton, then likely they’ve heard of Endicott and Johnson city even less. Plus, it’s just really small. To give an idea of the scale, I can probably drive from Endicott to Binghamton in 20 minutes, 25 with traffic. Suffice it to say, there ain’t much to do out here! So yeah, of course people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I chose to move here.

The thing is though…these are just things. My happiness does not come from things. My happiness comes from the experiences I feel because of these things, sure, but certainly not from these things themselves. I choose instead to embrace these changes, both good and bad. I choose to be extremely grateful now when I see the sunshine, when I go out on the very rare days I don’t need a coat, when I hear good music somewhere that makes me want to dance, or when I do visit a city where all the conveniences I was used to is now available. And when bad things do happen…well, that’s just life and I will do my best to see the humor in the situation. I may have some downs but for the most part, I choose to be happy.

 

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Perspective

When I first told people I got an opportunity to move to the east coast for a few months, everyone was ecstatic on my behalf. That is, until, I told them exactly where work was sending me.

“Oh wait…you’re not moving to the city?”

“Bing-ham-what?”

“Where’s that?”

“Wait, hold on, lemme look that up….oh…”

And some people, with good intentions I’m sure, decided that I needed to hear the brutal truth. Just so I can get out of it while I still can.

“You’re going to die.” (regarding the cold weather)

“You’re going to hate it there. It’s one thing to choose to stay at home, knowing there’s an option to go out and do things if you wanted to. It’s a whole other thing not to have that choice and staying in because you have to.”

Not everyone reacted that way though. Some were supportive and tried to find the positive in my situation.

“I mean…it’s only 3 hours from the city, right?”

“Well…you get to have trips home, right?”

I don’t want to make it seem like everyone I talked to was super discouraging or anything like that. I get it. It’s the middle of nowhere, almost no one has heard of it (myself included), and I’m going to be there for at least 6 months without knowing anyone in the immediate area. Add that to the fact that Binghamton isn’t known as a happening place, of course people were worried about me.

The thing is, that’s because their perspective was like this:

Other People's Perspective

Whereas mine was more like this:

My Perspective

They saw it as me going into the middle of nowhere, whereas I saw it as me going into the middle of all these places I want to visit!

Oh, and as for the cold, I guess it’s time for me to go shopping for a real coat then, right?

Jacket That Saved My Life

And I suppose I should also bring my snowboarding gear.

Snowboarding time!

So yeah, I may be moving into a place without knowing anyone and without knowing exactly what I’m getting myself into, but I’ve been wanting to move to the east coast and I choose to see this as an opportunity to get out there and explore!

I truly believe in this

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I truly believe in this

I’ve always wanted to be on the east coast. In fact, I’ve wanted it for a long time, but I see now that I wasn’t ready until now. I had to let go of things that were holding me back, stop trying to plan every little thing, and just learn to go with the flow.

It started at the beginning of last year, when I expressed to my boss during my performance review that I’d be interested in opportunities on the east coast. At that time, there was no reason to believe this was possible given that our department didn’t have an office, customer, or even a supplier on the east coast, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Although my boss acknowledged it, he warned me that this was likely not going to happen any time soon, let alone by the end of the year.

At the end of the year, my boss asked me if I was still interested in opportunities on the east coast. Incredible.