Guest Post: The 20-something Rooftop Reflector

Today’s guest post comes from Megan Clauson, a 20-something who took a leap in moving to New York City, spent a lot of time learning on rooftops and is taking her next big leap in moving to Chicago. 

While in college, I did a study on the term “happiness.” What it means, how to get it, and where to find it. Of course, this was a very hard definition to grasp because it means many things for many people. I had always told myself that happiness is not a destination; it is a way of life. In fact, I have a picture of this quote that hangs over my bed in my small, but homey, bedroom in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

As a 20-something, I feel that it is important for you to know what I have experienced thus far on my eye opening, jaw dropping, tear jerking, smirking, slap happy journey. While taking the road less traveled by moving to NYC, I have been a nanny, a retail worker, a couch surfing, florists’ assistant who has ventured around the East Coast, fist pumped on the Jersey Shore (before and after Sandy), saluted the very first star spangled banner at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, and stood amongst the Lincoln Statue in Washington D.C after dancing the night away at a 90’s bar the night before. I have stayed up until 4 in the morning eating chicken parmesan with friends at a diner in Tribeca. I have watched classic movies like The Wizard of Oz and Psycho in numerous parks around the city. I watched my friend stand on a Broadway stage for her very first time as she debuted as part of a cast that included Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vanessa Williams. I have walked the streets of New York City dressed as Tweedlee Dee, a burlesque flapper, and a pirate.

I have sat on rooftops and had more meaningful, in depth conversations with some of the most admirable people in my life, than I have ever had being inside a building.

Of course, it didn’t all start with rooftop rendezvous and flowers; in fact, the first few months were extremely difficult. I was living in temporary housing in a very bad area in Brooklyn, I had no job yet and my savings was draining. The only thing I had on my side was determination to keep on keeping on for the sky to open up. Thank goodness I waited for that sunny day. Now that I sit on my rooftop and reflect, I can’t believe all of the goals I had made for myself prior to my big move, and how I accomplished them while jumping over hurdles and crossing huge obstacles, all while learning about myself along the way.

As a 20-something, I have several new goals in mind, I am moving to Chicago to be closer to my family. I want to start my own event planning business and I want to travel the world. I will take what I have learned from this past year and use it to accomplish more of my goals, but attending lots of weddings, rooftop parties and family dinners along the way.

As I reflect on my experiences in New York City one line from my happiness paper from college has stuck with me that I have never forgotten: “To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.” It doesn’t matter where you are in this small, well-connected world…all that matters is that you’re making the most of those mundane Mondays, happy hours and long weekends with every intention on making your life bigger and better each day.

Megan Clauson is a 20-something who swears by her dancing shoes, bucket list and Pinterest. When she’s not dancing to the beat of her own drum, she is eating pizza, drinking sangria and planning weddings…one peep toe heel at a time!

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