I went to New York for the first time on my 10th birthday, situated in that spirited time between Christmas and New Year’s on December 28th. After seeing the Blue Man Group and eating a sundae the size of my face at Serendipity, we were off to see the blinding lights of Times Square. I remember looking out the cab window as if I were the main character in a film quickly falling in love and daydreaming into the city haze. I shouted “I’m going to move here one day,” to my family in the cab as I began exiting. I shut the cab door on my Britney Spears inspired pink pleather jacket and the cab sped away. The jacket ripped and my face fell into the mysterious puddle next to the sidewalk. If only my 10-year-old self knew how many times you’d need to get knock down before you reach a goal. Luckily at 27 I’m finally living out that lifelong dream and moved to NYC this past weekend.
For anyone who has been following this blog since its start (shout out to my 2015 OGs), you’ll be happy to know I’m sleeping on a real queen bed, in a safe apartment, and eating more than rice cakes with assorted nut butters every night. New York is expensive, but a couple years have added to my collection of materialistic things.
I typically write a blog post every year on my birthday from some airport terminal bouncing between states for the holidays, but alas I am 7 months late. Too much happened in one year. I haven’t had the mindset to even put words down the past months as my mind is always racing. This year has bought forth a ton of major changes and it seems to keep making 180s every month. During this past year, I’ve moved 3 times between 3 different states, changed jobs 3 times, and ended a 3-year relationship. Please tell me what the number 3 means because it’s been showing up a lot.
Just this past month alone, I had to uproot my life again. Finding an apartment in NYC was a mad house. There were crowds of hopefuls lining the open houses and, on my way, to tours I’d be informed it was already taken. I was working two jobs the past 4 months bartending and serving and only had one day off to secure a place. Moving alone sucks. Not only do you not get to split the rent, utilities, or groceries, but you also bear the burden of setting it all up yourself. Since I only had 48 hours, I’m quite impressed with what we were able to get done.
Also, quick reminder to please treat service industry employees with patience and respect. These people are serving you during a pandemic, usually short staffed, and trying their best. I thought maybe after a pandemic that customers would be kinder and more understanding, but instead I’ve seen impatience and disrespect. I’ll get off my soap box now, but felt it was an important reminder.
I’ve stayed a bit more quiet than usual about all the moves (other than my Instagram posts the past couple days). After living alone during a pandemic (that we are still very much in please get vaccinated), I began realizing the scariest part was actually being alone with my thoughts. It was the first time I truly had to sit down with myself and ask some very tough questions that usually get swept under the rug of my busy life.
This year I’ve committed to self-love. I know it sounds corny, but it’s been a hard goal. As a great friend of mine always says, “sometimes self -love isn’t pretty.” I think we imagine taking care of ourselves as bubble baths with red wine in hand (although that does work too), but in reality, it’s making choices that put you first. It’s those pesky things like setting boundaries, saying no, and making changes when things aren’t working. For the first time, even through this shitty year, I started loving myself (also therapy is great and helped a ton – let’s please keep normalizing this as well).
I always think back to that little girl looking out the cab window at the city lights. I never imagined New York becoming a place where so many of my major events would happen, good and bad. I spent a summer interning here. My memories were filled with cockroaches, no AC or windows, and sitting alone in Washington Square Park. (See more on the cockroaches here) I also used to fly to NYC every other month from Alabama during college to see a specialist. At the time we couldn’t figure out why I was in so much pain and it took 3 years just to find him. You can read all about it in my past blog: Bonnie’s Bed Post. That specialist is the one who ended up performing surgery on me after graduation. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. For the longest time I associated New York with disappointment, heartbreak, and hurt. What once was my dreamy vision of a magical city, had become the stark reality of falling out of a cab into murky waters. The spark seemed to have died and I moved on to Los Angeles and eventually Birmingham.
After 5 years, I’m back in the city that I felt was no longer waiting for me (sorry Taylor Swift – it is not in fact waiting for me). I’m hoping this time it’ll be a bit more magical. Maybe I am romanticizing based off New York TikTok videos, but I feel really excited about this new journey. I find myself reinventing again, coming back stronger, and already a better version of me. I still believe the magic will be there and I can again see the city lights as if I’m falling in love. For now, I’ll be starting my new job as coordinator at Light Iron and trying out everything my new block has to offer.
Until next time, please enjoy this very flattering photo of me enjoying snacks…
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