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Dear New York,

I am writing this letter to apologize for my half-hearted attempt to get to know you. I didn't even give you a fair chance. Like the sankofa bird, I flew from California, still looking backwards as I moved forward in life. The two songs accompanying me on my iPod Shuffle on repeat since landing here in August 2007 were:

"New York, New York, city of dreams, everything in New York ain't always what it seems..." by the Dogg Pound and "I'm going, going, back, back, to Cali, Cali" (the BIG version, not the LL version). But funny enough, Hello Brooklyn by Jay-Z and Lil Wayne and New York by Ja-Rule, Fat Joe, and Jadakiss, have made me reconsider calling Brooklyn home for a while.

Despite all of the beautiful people I've Met, I've been Yanked across the country on a Jet so that I could be a Giant and not just a Knick.

I've come to realize that you can't immerse yourself in a new space when your heart is still in another. I've had one foot is California and one foot in New York and now I'm torn. Today, I am having my heart packaged and sent from California to reunite with its body, mind, and soul so that I can be whole right here. I am committing to being fully present in Brooklyn, NY (Oakland Cali's long lost sister city) for as long as the Universe wants me here. I know that I have the power to create love, family, miracles, and a home wherever I go. Through potlucks, MLT, The Gathering, and Landmark Forum, my extended family is extending.

Family has never just been biological for me. Though my little brothers are in SoCal and my mom and dad are in NorCal, since being here I've gotten to know my aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of my family better. For the first time since junior high school, I spent Christmas with my uncle and cousins outside of the Bay. Last weekend I went on a 10 hour road trip with my family to another cousin's wedding in Canada. It was beautiful. And for the first time, I will be celebrating my birthday without breaking bread with my closest friends or mother as I turn 26 on July 11th.

To my California family, being away from you has taught me to love and appreciate you even more. Know that I'm growing here though the soil is made of concrete. New York is a city of buildings and I'm going to use this space to do just that...keep building. I'm going to build with MLT, the So Live Arts Movement, Parallel MVMT, RE: Construction Period, the Stoop, and most importantly the people behind these movements.

When I return, I will be a changed man. If I were to come back now, you would still recognize me. That means it is probably too soon. New York has taught me how to be alone without feeling lonely. The drum circles and public art(ists) have taught me to in-true-sively share what I believe publicly. The subways have taught me patience. The cultural diversity has expanded my world view and deepened my compassion.

The one element about New York that I felt was still missing was a spiritual center, but every day I am reminded that my body is a temple, therefore, I am my own spiritual center. Of course fellowship and wise counsel are a must and I still have to actively seek out those elements. Potlucks have served as one space for my spiritual growth and development, but my spirit is hungry for more. In John 4:34, Jesus said "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and complete his(-her) work." With launching in July, the You Can't Google Purpose book, and potlucks , I feel like I am do God's work wherever I am.

I've been wrestling with notions of what I have control over versus what I don't. I'm not sure how much I should let life come to me versus how much I should go out and get it. How much should I plan versus how much should I just be. "A people without a vision perish" right? Since I don't know the answers any more, I'm done trying to steer my life down a particular path. There are too many potholes, flat tires, and malfunctions when I try to do things my way. I'm releasing the wheel, my will, to God's will and trusting Spirit to guide me from here.

New York is a city of dreams. On the journey of life, it is the busiest intersection in the world. I have seen more old friends from California in New York than I did when I was in California! May God grant me the patience to sit through the traffic jams in my life until they clear up and I'm given the green light to move forward.

I love you all.



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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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