New Yorkers are born all over the country, and then they come to New York City and it hits them: Oh, that’s who I am. -Delia Ephron
If you’re up to it, play “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift as you’re reading this. Not a TSwift fan? Lies. Life is too short to pretend you don’t like catchy Taylor Swift songs.
Although I reside in Jersey currently, it didn’t take long for my heart to find a place in New York City. I’m not any kind of New Yorker per say, but I definitely have been finding out more about myself here.
I will always hold my hometown close to my heart. I always knew that my soul wasn’t meant to stay in that place for long, however. I yearned for excitement, a change, somewhere preferably with a lot of awesome restaurants (self-acclaimed foodie here). Quite honestly, I pictured myself to be like most Texas small(ish) town girls and end up in a bigger city within the state. A lot of my friends (mostly those with dreams of performing) had plans to end up in the NYC, so I always just thought of it as a fun place to visit frequently. It’s always nice to have a free place to stay, after all.
I never in a million years pictured getting to live here myself.
A little over half of my flight attending training class was sent to be based in NYC. They set us up in a hotel for a week for our orientation, thankfully. What was a little bit daunting was the fact that within that time we also needed to find places to live.
I was incredibly lucky I was to find the best roommates within my training class. Thankfully, we decided pretty quickly that we were going to go at this thing together, and spent many weeks in training searching online. Although there were lots of options, we found that it was nearly impossible to get a good grasp or make any decisions before we got there… So there we were, a week until homeless, looking for a place to call home. Through a strand of fortunate events (and an unfortunate first-time experience with NJ transit), we found a place super quickly. An adorable 3 story house that we get to take up 2 floors of, each with our own room and a considerable amount of living space. I’m still so grateful that we found such a great situation, even though our living room furniture consists of a hot pink camping tent… Hey, everyone starts somewhere!
At first I had just a few suitcases of clothes, and slept on a 2 inch foam pad with a blanket throw… You know, the high life. We had started working right away, so I could not have been more grateful for the hotel beds I crashed in on trips. I started getting creative as soon as I could to acquire furniture (picture a tall blonde awkwardly holding an Ikea night stand on a crowded bus), and I was able to start making this place livable. I recently took time to hang pictures on the empty walls, and soon found the kind of peace you want at home. You know what I’m talking about, that sense of quiet you feel when you finally get to your house and shut the door. Ahhhh, finally some serenity in the craziness of the past few days/weeks/months/year. Netflix was calling my name.
We also live in an endearing little collection of blocks. It’s not one of those hip awesome places with awesome shooters and awesome music, where people just soak up each other’s awesomeness… More just a quaint little area that has everything you could need. (PS, I’m very aware that I just sacrificed sentence structure for a chance to quote Mean Girls, no regrets). Within a square block, you can find a coffee shop, farmer’s market, pizza place and liquor store. So we’re solid. There’s also a cute park and street a few blocks down that has groceries, banks and little shops. It may not be the coolest place to live, but I am happy here. I also love being able to enjoy the quiet every once in a while.
Almost every day I hop on the bus around the block and head into the city. What I love about New York is how little I understand it. I often times find myself filling my days wandering until I find something new to do. Let me tell you, I have never once been disappointed. Something as simple as stumbling upon a group of strangers singing Let It Be at John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields memorial, can be magical.
There are awesome things to experience everywhere you turn. The freedom tower, stage doors to my favorite broadway shows, famous restaurants, famous people… I have no complaints about not having things to do. I love finding isolated places in Central Park to stare at the skyscrapers through the trees. In those moments, I somehow am able to feel alone. The park has always been mesmerizing to me, I find myself wandering through there every time I run out of places to go in the city. It’s such a breath of fresh air in the middle of all the hustle.
But I digress. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make has been without a doubt getting used to public transportation. I mean, in college I would choose to walk for up to 40 minutes, just to avoid trying to figure out the school’s bus system. Man does that seem elementary now. I will admit that although I like to think I’m getting a grasp on getting around, Google Maps has been my savior. I probably use it on the upwards of 5x a day to figure out exactly what method of transport to use. It’s a strong love/hate (mostly hate) relationship. You can truly measure a person’s character based on how they act when they’re using public transportation. It’s the biggest testament to a person’s ability to control their temper (for comparison: similar to road rage). I will say, however, that it’s pretty cool in retrospect bouncing between two states all the time.
Every day I am here is liberating. I wake up and seize every day, whether that means exploring something new, or allowing myself time to relax at home. It is so motivating to have control over what you do and where you go, especially if you always believe that something even more exciting is just an avenue down. I love living in such a fast-paced city, it feels like the center of the universe. Will I be here long? Who can tell. Quite honestly, I’m waiting to see if I can survive the winter before I make any commitments. I love everything about this place so far, especially the way it makes me feel, so that’s a good sign. Only time will tell.
Dare you to go live in a place that constantly has you pinching yourself. 😉
If you are greedy for life, that’s what New York is all about. If you’re trying to get as much as you can every day, this city is the place to be. -Pam Nelson