One Month & Six Days
I haven’t been updating too much—hopefully you’ll forgive me. I’m in that “new career, new city, new relationship, ‘new’ (read: much smaller) wardrobe” space and I’ve been trying my best to get settled in. Having said that, I know that if you frequent this blog, you’re probably looking for a life update, given all of the aforementioned changes. Here you go.
Oh, New York City. I’ve been here for slightly over a month and I have to say: New York seems like a natural fit for me. Throughout my life, I’ve spent so many hours falling in and out of love with strangers in the subway, imagining a lifetime of grandiose, Big Fish-esque story arcs in brilliant technicolor only to fade back into a less resplendent reality moments later. I prefer being bookish in the park to almost anything else and I like to be just another face in a crowd. I like to sit alone, journal, and enjoy a glass of wine. In this city, that’s all commonplace and I feel that I’ve been able to embrace my quirks instead of trying my best to mask them. I can’t believe I’ve been here for 36 days—mostly because they flew by. Also, because I feel so at home already.
Before I continue, I must add the caveat that it hasn’t been completely smooth sailing—I still get on the train going in the wrong direction from time to time and I’m still waiting for my mail key. I get lonely sometimes and I feel small in a way I’m not used to. There’s been more positivity than the occasional pang of “homesickness” or some forced solitude, though. For example, I’ve learned how to pull of an effortlessly chic “sneakers with maxi dress” combination, (mostly) which subways will get me where, and that while Philly soft pretzels are just better, nothing beats a bodega BEC in the morning. All of this is to say that it’s different, and it’s just the change I needed.
I’m no stranger to solitude but I’ve been enjoying a ton of it lately, for better or for worse. My first evening in Brooklyn, I took the train to one of the Lower East Side bars I used to frequent at the ripe, lithe age of 21. It made me feel old so I tipsily wandered around until I found some food that caught my eye, and that’s how I spent my first night in New York eating fried chicken in an empty restaurant. (It was the day before Labor Day.) A more perfect scenario I could not imagine.
After my second day of work at my new job, I decided to lose myself in the kind of pensive introspection that’s best facilitated by long walks, and made the two-hour-plus trek from Flatiron to Bed-Stuy via the Manhattan Bridge. Most of my days have looked like this, and I’m so thankful for this time. I’m figuring out who I am in the sense that only someone who’d been dropped in a new situation in a different place surrounded by unfamiliar faces only can. Some will say I have the opportunity to re-brand myself—I’m not interested in that. I want to figure out who I am stripped of all pretense. Here’s a city of almost 9 million, nearly none of which see me as a walking liability because of my past struggles. Do you know how beautiful it is to even exist, let alone to be given an opportunity to truly exist? If you have the means to do so, I highly recommend picking up and moving to a new city—preferably one somewhat close by so you can still revisit your friends and loved ones. Having said that, this situation is so ideal and I’m glad I did the damn thing.
I’ve been one for long-winded pontifications lately, and I’ll be back to them someday, but for now, I’m going to relax for truly the first time in over a month. Some things are best left short and sweet, hey? Just know that, as a follow up to my love letter to the city of Philadelphia, I’m in good hands and can say that I’m happier than I’ve been in a while. I can feel myself really coming into my own, whether it’s in language, or mannerisms, or even sartorial direction. It’s a great feeling. I’m excited to have you all here for this next chapter.