While sitting on my couch with glass of white wine one winter night, I couldn’t help myself but wonder where my life would be if I had made different choices. It is the craziest thing to think about- how one thing, one moment, one person…can impact your life and change it drastically. Flashback to the unfortunate time of Hurricane Sandy, a time that changed a lot of people’s lives for the worse. The storm wiped away homes, destroying everything in it’s path. It also was the time of my own hurricane, except my hurricane was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I finally gave in to Brooklyn and never looked back. I remember it like it was yesterday. My stepfather, mom and step-siblings just moved into our new house in Brooklyn and I found myself in a pickle in my hometown back in Long Island. I was living at my close friend’s house- broke, depressed and living on Ramon noodles everyday. At 19, living away from home and trying to be independent without help is pretty hard. I tried being an adult and failed miserably. To make this story somewhat shorter, I decided Brooklyn was for the best. I learned slowly but surely to love my new environment. Moving to Brooklyn was anything less than easy. I spent most of my years in my small town that I grew accustomed to and than in a flash- starting over in a new place. But I was finally ready. When moving to Brooklyn, I got right to work. I applied to a local waitressing job and tried my best to make a life for myself. First starting out was nice but lonely. I had no friends, a part-time job and a new situation without any support other than my mom and step-family. Weeks passed slaving at this job because I didn’t have anything better to do, when I eventually stumbled upon a Sunday night shift with a girl named Suzanna. Instantly, we clicked. We didn’t know it at the time, but soon enough we would become the closest of friends. The closest friend I’ve ever had. But flashback to that time, we spent the shift complaining and laughing and soon enough we decided we wanted to make plans to take this friendship outside of work and become actual friends. Making friends at an older age is difficult. I got lucky with Suzanna. If it weren’t for her and the friends I met along the road, I probably wouldn’t have made it through Brooklyn. I would have tried going back to living somewhere in Long Island to get out of my misery. My friends in Brooklyn revived my life in a way I didn’t know was possible outside of my comfort zone. I was so used to my small town in Long Island, I never knew I could be someone else and experience more outside of it. I was in my own little bubble so long I didn’t realize that bubble was suffocating me. The hurricane I was experiencing wasn’t destroying me, it was saving me. That is where I bring up the question that everyone has thought at some point in their lives: Does everything really happen for a reason or is it all just coincidental? I think back to when I first moved here and thought about how different my life would’ve been had I never applied for that job or met Suzanna. I can’t help but question if I’d be happy here or stayed for the long haul. Every choice we make, or seem to make, impacts our life whether we know it or not. And one simple hello, friendship or job…can turn your world in a whole new direction. Flash forward two years now, in Brooklyn still… I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve learned more about myself and who I want to be because of the changes in my life. I have an amazing, supportive family, both in Brooklyn and Long Island. I have incredible friends now, that I don’t know how I’ve survived without for most of my life. I’m finally at a place where I feel I am understanding what it means to grow and live outside my bubble. So, does everything happen for a reason or is it a coincidence? I know that I walked into that little cafe one day in hopes that I would just meet people in my new home and look, I wound up meeting the best friend I’ve ever had. I also LOVE Brooklyn. I can’t believe that it’s just ironic. I believe strongly that everyone has choices in this life, but I do believe that everything that happens is for a reason. Whether we know it or not, essentially life will kick in and make you think back to that good old song, Ironic by Alanis Morissette. Believe me when I say…it’s not just a coincidence. The path your heading will be hard, long and not always fun…but it will lead you to a place where you will no longer have to question. That’s because at that point, you won’t have to guess, because you’ll know. So, take a chance on change because you never know what’s waiting for you if you open the door…nothing is just a coincidence, Everything happens for a reason.