Thursday, April 24, 2008

My New York Story



Our classic New York night-out-on-the-town (which happened almost two weeks ago -- obviously I'm a bit behind here) turned out to be a lovely and magical evening, with views to die for...{note: if you would like to die for a view, take yourself on up to the Rainbow Room pronto. You *will* pay well over ten (10) dollars for one (1) drink but I promise it is worth it}. As we sat at our little table-for-two-nook, gazing out over the city lights, I was struck with this profound thought: I am such a grown-up! At thirty, one should be aware of such things, but you'd be surprised how often one forgets. In that moment though, I really felt it, you know? And it wasn't a sad realization. Not at all...it was more a feeling of accomplishment and joy :: I have ARRIVED! I mean, here I am, out on a romantic date with this AMAZING man who has become my best friend (something I *sometimes* doubted would EVER happen), in my fancy frocks at a fancy-pants restaurant with this VIEW of this CITY that I love! It was all quite surreal. But SO what I had hoped and prayed for before making the Big Move to the Big City. And this -- adulthood, maturity, LIFE -- was just what I was after when I started off on this journey...

Before settling down in New York, I moved around quite a bit -- from East to West and back again, with a short and painful stint in the Midwest that left me reeling and fragile. I suppose all that moving around was due partly to my explorative/travel-bug nature. But it probably had something to do with restlessness as well. And while I wouldn't necessarily want to go back and relive those times (except maybe Montana, which was dreamy), I am so thankful to have all of those experiences under my belt and strongly believe that they were a huge and essential part of my journey.

In the midst of all that moving around, New York somehow became my Dream City: a place that, when mentioned, could stir my heart and imagination like no other place. But I never entertained the thought of moving there as a real possibility -- I literally could not FATHOM doing such a bold thing! Whenever I would hear about someone making the move, I would be floored by (and envious of) their bravery: "WOW, you're moving to NEW YORK?? HOW??!" It always seemed like this huge, unattainable thing in my mind -- partly to do with finances, but mostly to do with fear and lack of confidence.

The turning point came when I was catching up with an old friend who informed me that another friend of ours had recently moved to New York -- and this person was the LAST person on earth I could imagine doing such a thing! And that was it. I said to him, and myself, holy cow -- if SHE can do it, then so can I!! All of the sudden, there it was: belief in myself and just enough faith to push the plan into motion. I suddenly knew that if it was meant to be, it could happen. {note: the belief and faith were also boosted by a healthy dose of anger at my (then) current Midwestern circumstances}.

There were many hurdles along the way, including STRONG opposition from my protective father who did NOT think it was so wise to go off and live in "the most expensive and dangerous city in the world" (fyi: neither are true), and losing my partner-in-crime, a close friend who was planning to make the move with me but then decided not to at the last minute, leaving me to face the unknown on my own. But I just knew in my bones that I HAD to do this.

I paid my dues in Jersey for awhile, living on the outskirts of the city I longed for, pulling shots and cleaning bathrooms at the 'bucks for nearly eight months -- but somehow that only seemed to bolster my drive and determination towards The Dream. And then, suddenly (after many late night prayers -- and maybe some tears), I found myself with a job offer AND an apartment IN THE SAME WEEK (which is nothing short of a miracle in this city). There were more prayers and tears, this time of gratefulness, and by summer of '06 I was moving myself and my big dreams to the Upper East Side, where I have happily resided with one (1) lovely roommate and one (1) sneaky cat ever since.

That night at the Rainbow Room with my beau by my side, the realization of how far I have come hit me hard...so many of those things that I felt needed to happen by way of New York have actually happened: I have confidence and a backbone now...I am comfortable in my own skin...I believe in myself and the dreams God has placed within me...I trust now that even when things look impossible and too difficult to manage, there is usually a way somehow. And I feel like I have finally grown into those adult-sized shoes I was trying to fill when I first came to this city 2 years ago...they were a bit big and uncomfortable back then -- but now, finally, they're starting to feel just fine.

1 comment:

simplesecret said...

That's really cool. Thanks for letting us share in your reflections, and your journey! :)

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