This Chick Has Left The Nest



“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

-Warsan Shire

My Mamaiay and I left Chicago in 1998 to move 2,063 miles closer to the American Dream.  Seattle was safer, had better jobs, generous social services, and a budding Habesha community. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have gone to amazing schools and be supported by a village that could’ve prequel the Blind Side. I’ve had the privilege of calling Seattle home for the last 20 years, and I’ve always entertained the idea of leaving someday – but I always had an excuse to hold me back; “I can’t go because I need to finish school”  “I’ll lose my job if I move” “I need to save $X” “My Mamaiay needs me” “I can’t leave my childhood friends” “I have an apartment lease” etc.

I made a promise to myself last year to let go of things which would inhibit growth. This resulted in me quitting Amazon, shaving my hair, to even breaking up with my long-time boyfriend.  From these experiences, I learned that we often block our own blessings by being too scared to let go of what makes us comfortable. – It became clear that the last thing I was tirelessly clinging onto was home.

The only feeling worse than being alone is being around a room full of people and still feeling lonely. Every birthday, wedding, and special event exacerbated this feeling as I struggled to connect with people who I’ve known for most of my life. I hated that history was a precedent to obligation and found myself justifying my actions  and environment to myself by saying I’ve known so-and-so for X years.

During these gatherings, I grew tired of hearing people saying “Seattle is toxic” yet not doing their part in bringing positive energy. I grew tired of looking around watching people drown out their insecurities and depression with alcohol and drugs. I felt like I was around a bunch of people who were unhappy at the core and everyone was putting on a show of who could hide it the best, including me.

I wanted to rebrand myself, but I knew it’d be hard to do in Seattle. I didn’t want to be the “life-coach” anymore and known as “so-and-so’s ex.” I realized that my identity was being shaped by other people’s perceptions of me and I wanted to break free of that. I was ready to make the leap to become Rahwa 2.0 but then I was getting constantly reminded about version 1.0. This is when I realized I was trying to build a Sand Castle in the Arctic. Right tools, wrong place.

I read somewhere that the definition of Hell is this:

The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.

I felt like I was fearing this on daily cadence and finally mount up the courage to ask my employer to relocate to DC. Once I got the yes, I sold everything, said my goodbyes and hopped on my flight the same week. I cried my whole flight to DC; I was sad about what and who I was leaving behind, yet, eager for what I felt was lying ahead.

I wonder, how does the chick feel when it leaves its nest to fly for the first time?

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  • “The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” literally gave me chills. So excited to stay tuned into this! Congrats on the move!

By rahwasthoughts
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