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Posted on May 22nd, 2011

As recently as a few months ago, I was seriously considering a departure from New York; at the end of last year, I wrote that I wanted something significant to happen in 2011 and I was hoping that it would be a move of this sort. That feeling was persistent for months, although I was relatively passive about pursuing opportunities to realize it. Still, to ensure flexibility and to limit liabilities, I negotiated short-term lease renewals with my management company.

Understandably, those around me here in New York were not thrilled by this objective, but they were supportive nonetheless. I don’t think that any group has demonstrated this more than the lovely people that I have met at Forefront. This is a community that I discovered back in 2009, over a year after I moved down to New York permanently, and it has kept me grounded here since then.

I have made no secret (especially to them) that they are the principal reason why I am still here in New York. As much as work is a part of my life (not that much), what keeps me here is not my salary. I am convinced that I can earn a good living in any number of places, but finding a place like Forefront is very special and I do not take it for granted. Few words can express how grateful I am for the staff at Forefront who have cultivated such a fruitful environment.

So it should come as no surprise that I attribute most of my decision to stay in New York to them. Yep, that’s right, I’m sticking around after all! (In fact, I just called my management company last week to re-sign my lease for another year.) How could I give this amazing community up? Through Forefront, I have made incredible friends, developed musically, served diligently, and learned consistently. This continued to happen through these last few months, even as I had one foot reaching for the door.

I feel that this last point I mentioned deserves more reflection: even when I wasn’t committed to New York, I was still immensely committed to Forefront and I think that is extremely telling. It has been my rock here in the city and, now more than ever, I am willing to build on it.

I am tired of being neither here nor there; it was very unfair to me and to everyone around me while I was tentative with my life. I wasn’t living in New York as long as I thought that I wanted to leave; I didn’t invest as much as I could have, and I was content to just float on in life until something happened. Opportunities were neglected, and ambitions were deferred.

No longer. I’m here. I’m happy. I’m committed. And I’m eager to start living again.

PS To the non-Forefront folks in New York, please trust that your role in keeping me here does not go unnoticed nor unappreciated. Former roommates, friends from work, and other connections are all important!

PPS To those in Toronto and Waterloo, sorry. I know that I teased a return to the Great White North and, while the intent was certainly genuine when I stated it, I can’t have my cake and eat it too. I’m still not that far away from you guys!

PPPS To those who have influenced me from Forefront, seriously, thank you.

One Response to “Here”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Although I’m disappointed you won’t be returning to Waterloo, this post makes me really happy! The best place to be is one that you can commit to fully. 🙂 Happy for you Justin!

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