Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia shares her story about coming to New York for the first time.

on Dec 13, 2011

"In New York concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh

There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York

These streets will make you feel brand new

Big lights will inspire you, lets hear it for New York, New York, New York!"

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

I moved from Huntsville, Alabama to New York City right out of high school. I was alone, scared, and had very little money. It was my first time going to the Big Apple, and also my first time on an airplane! I was very nervous, but I knew I had to be brave, because my mother was crazy with worry and would have changed her mind if I showed any signs of fear. I knew the moment that I boarded the plane and they closed the door there was no turning back. I was 18 years old, and there was nothing that I had learned in my “small town” upbringing that could have ever prepared me for my journey. As I sat in my seat, I suddenly started to panic, but I was embarrassed to cry in front of the passenger seated next to me. So, instead of crying, I prayed. I prayed for courage, strength, protection, and prosperity. I prayed so long that I fell asleep. When the flight attendant woke me up, I heard the words, “Welcome to LaGuardia Airport.” I remember thinking to myself that I had to win, because I had not come all this way to lose. I had already had my first victory by just getting on the plane. Looking back, I think that was the hardest part. I remember that day like it was yesterday, because that was the day my whole life changed.