A million times in the last two weeks, I’ve stopped in the middle of ordinary moments and thought it again: I’m so glad I moved to Atlanta.

It happened as I was dragging a smoothie through a straw in cold, rainy Midtown, a few blocks from the staid, stately house where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind. As I flipped pages over the din of rushing trains, hurtling from my Peachtree Corners apartment to my downtown office. As I sat in relentless traffic and then, at the office the next day, felt some warped camaraderie with everyone else who’d sifted through the sea of bumper cars the night before. As I tried on restaurants and grocery stores and libraries for size, walked past impossibly gleaming skyscrapers in Buckhead, took accidental exits into neighborhoods I probably shouldn’t have been in at night, and soaked up the feeling of having more city to explore than I could ever exhaust. 

It happened as I experienced the joy, joy, JOY of loving my job again, of waking up in the morning raring to get started. I felt those old, familiar clouds of gray Sunday dread clear from the pit of my stomach as I drafted lists of ideas and watched a routine take shape (A-section and Metro of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution every morning, press calls in the afternoon after the reporters come into work). And I thought it again: I am so glad I moved to Atlanta.

I’m thankful that I’m here, thankful that this was waiting for me while I experienced a different kind of joy — rougher, harder — somewhere else. Maybe it’ll be forever, or maybe there’s another kind of joy waiting for me, years off, in a place I can’t imagine yet.

I’m just grateful there’s joy to be had.

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