Four years ago today, I was preparing to leave for NYC the next morning. I met up with my mother and gave her my beloved Ford Focus, Bianca (R.I.P. Bianca 12.17.2000-7.01.2003). And then I would spend the day trying to Mary Poppins Bag my way on the plane. In my mind my suitcases were huge. HUGE. I could fit everything in them. The clothes I hadn't packed, my CDs, my Helen Reddy album, my clarinet...everything. But as I packed, I realized the suitcase did not in fact have any magic in it, and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to fit it all in. As it was a Saturday, and I had already given up my transportation, I had no way of mailing another box, so called my best friend, Nathan (who was already in NYC), and my friend Brian (who had taken charge of maintaining my sanity in the move) to help me figure out a way to get everything there. Brian came to my rescue and brought me a box* and committed to mailing it for me ASAP. Then we packed up the rest of my things and went out for Trudy's Mexican Martinis. Yum....
The next morning at 7am, I flew on Vanguard Airlines (which went under about 2 days later) to JFK and took a cab to Nathan's apartment, in a neighborhood where the cabdriver had to ask for directions. I was met on the curb by Nathan and my now-good-friend Paul and later that day we had our very first Taco night. The next day I proceded to get lost in Times Square and cry in front of some hotel in Midtown. At that point I gave myself three months. Three months turned into six months, turned into a year, turned into grad school. And here we are.
I credit Brian with helping me survive my first year here. He took my countless why-did-I do-this calls, and then my countless bored-at-the-temp-job calls and e-mails. He provided me with freelance work and then with stellar recommendations for every job I applied for and didn't get (at no fault of his). He apparently nominated me for sainthood in my recommendation letter for Social Work school. And about a month after I moved here he wrote me the e-mail below letting me know that I deserved something as fabulous as NYC (Thank you, my dear friend):
so it's 12:30 saturday morning and my lovely evening of murphy walking, baseball channel surfing, and reheated pizza scarfing has led me to send you this list of reasons to stay in NYC...
1) at least there are new people to meet there that aren't incoming UT freshmen
2) the people you hate in austin are still here
3) you don't have to work in special projects anymore
4) it's not 105 in the shade
5) while i'm sure your fellow new yorkers do their fair share of pizza scarfing...at least it's made with the best quality tap water on the planet
6) you have the yankees
7) you have broadway
8) you have a hooker roommate...it's like the writer gods are screaming "THAT'S SOME PULITZER PRIZE WINNING STUFF walking around your living room naked"
9) ryan lives in texas
and most importantly... 10) you are fabulous and thus deserve a fabulous city...all that
crap about hill country charm and live music is crap...you're in F-ING NYC
I decided a few weeks ago that I am probably here for the long haul (not sure how long that means exactly). I feel like NYC (but really Bklyn) has allowed me to fully be myself. I have found a career that lets me use my talents and sensibilities to change the lives of others. I have found a church unlike anything I ever thought possible. I have made some great friends. I have found a place where I can speak freely and know that I will be respected for my opinions, and the thought and reason behind them. NYC and I have not always gotten along so well, but we're currently experiencing a good patch. I guess I'll just see where this takes me.
*The box got sent back to Texas due to the mail-paranoia of Russian mafia hooker roommate. Then it ended up in Brian's sister's garage in Houston. Then it rode around in Brian's trunk for a bit and almost a year later I finally got it back. And I got into a car accident on my way from Brian's to my parents' house, scattering the ill-fated box's contents about the car and the roadside.