With some hesitation, I moved to Atlanta the Summer of 2015. I embarked on this new journey for several reasons.
Two of my best friends who are Atlanta transplants begged me to no end to move out East. They were relentless in their attempts and I’ll admit I toyed with the idea more and more with each nudge.
I had recently given up the ghost about my sexuality but I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. Atlanta has a reputation that proceeds itself as it relates to the LGBTQ community. Naively, I believed immersing myself in this environment would help me come to terms with my new life.
I packed up a Budget truck, attached my car and my friend Kris and I hit I-20. There were some initial feelings of hesitation about the move but I brushed it off as nerves and pushed those inclinations to the side.
Determined to get a true city experience, I chose not to settle in the suburbs. I secured a nice mid-rise apartment in West Midtown nestled among popular eateries, with shopping within walking distance and minutes from downtown Atlanta. I was even 10 minutes from my friends!
I was set.
It warmed my heart being in Atlanta and seeing so many people that looked like me. At one point, I asked people where are the Hispanic people and white folks because they seemed scarce.
Dating in Atlanta was initially more promising than Dallas because there were so many more options. Let’s face it, Atlanta is the hub for the gays and they came in all shapes, sizes, and some with larger than life personalities. I immediately felt like I wasn’t gay enough to be in the city. At times, it was just too much and I would sit back and think what in hell have I gotten myself into. But to be honest it was all comical. There are so many thing I want to say about my time in Atlanta but in an effort to retain your attention I will try to summarize what I learned during and after being there.
As I mentioned earlier, I just knew I would get to Atlanta, meet like minded people and my fears and anxiety about being gay would magically dissipate. Ha! To my surprise, that did not happen. I even fell in love for the first time with a guy. Y’all I had it bad too! Surely that would turn things around. No! I still failed to become the person I wanted to be. Ironically, my depression heightened. The feelings of despair, hopelessness and fear came at me with a vengeance in the very city I sought liberation. How could this be? I was suffocating. I was lost.
It took some time but I realized a new city would not heal me or help me come to terms with who I was. My issues were on the forwarding address application I filled out before I left Texas. Moving did not stop those demons from meeting me at the front door in Georgia with a spare key. I had to sit in it and deal with me. All of me. The good, bad and ugly. I had to be still and heal. My healing came in the form of going to therapy, taking medication, telling others I was hurting, prayer, self love, and letting go of relationships and ideas that were not healthy.
My move to Atlanta reminded me that we are all given free will but at times you have to suffer the consequences of your actions. I made some poor decisions while in Atlanta because I wasn’t centered. I’m dealing with my choices now. It sucks but it’s all a learning experience. Sometimes we have to suffer a little while in order for God to teach, refine, and remind us who we are and who we can be. For once we come to that realization and level of maturity then will we experience the greatness that is purposed for our lives.