I am a Leaf on the Wind, Watch How I Soar

It was just over five years ago that I moved to New York City from Sydney, Australia where I had lived for almost two years. That same week, I discovered Flickr and found a new home for my photography. After a few months of sleeping on an air mattress, our stuff finally arrived from Australia and we began to settle into our new home in the big city. The first few weeks felt like being on vacation, not permanent residence.

Time went by, the people in my life changed here. I learned a lot about loss and about love here. I saw as much as I could of this city by walking it’s streets and taking in as much through my camera as I could. The flickr group meetings were a great way to get to know this city. I found refuge on my rooftop and my son grew from this to this while I was here. I also lost my father while living here.

The memorial lights have always had a different meaning to me than most people in New York since I wasn’t here during the tragedy in 2001. My first night to wander around the city as a new resident in Sept. 2004, the lights were shooting brightly into the night sky. The lights have always been vivid reminder of the anniversary of my time here and I was able to see them shine over Manhattan five times.

I made a lot of friends, many who are now scattered all over the globe or still in the city. I had some great losses and learned to persevere through tragedy here. I worked with so many great people which influenced my design and creativity. I learned a lot about life and about myself. I learned to be a better person to myself and to the people in my life here. I learned more about other people and other cultures here than I have in some foreign countries. My photography flourished in this city and my ability to adapt served me well. I leave New York City, a better person than when I arrived. I also leave humbled that I got to call such a place, my home.

Goodbye New York, thank you so much for the memories.

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For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.