They say you aren't truly a New Yorker until you've lived here consecutively for ten years. Bump them. I've been here a little over a week and I'd like to think I'm already a New Yorker. I have yet to master the subway, I forget to close my curtains sometimes and I still walk around in awe as a tourist would, but who cares? I'm an explorer.
And my apartment--OUR apartment--is the best thing since sliced bread. My roommate and I lucked out in getting a newly renovated place with all new furnishings. Unfortunately, that also meantwe were without a kitchen sink and cabinets for almost a week. It was tragic. All those meals I had imagined myself cooking had to be put on hold. The horror. Yet, somehow, I managed.
For making this move alone to a brand new city, I have been called brave. I have been called crazy. I have been called amazing. In reality, I am probably a bit of all three, with an emphasis on the crazy. Let’s face it: I’m a southern country gal. There are farms and llamas and dirt roads in Louisa, Va., where I’m from. We just got a Wal-Mart. Our biggest attractions are Lake Anna and our Friday night football games in The Jungle. This is a big change for me. My parents are worried sick and in constant prayer. And so am I.
On my first full day as a New York resident, my father texted to ask if I was yet homesick. I told him I wasn’t, which was and is true. But as the week progressed, I learned that the city can be quite lonely. At times, I felt so small in this immensely populated and big place. New York City is my ocean, and I believe I will always feel small standing beside it. I have certainly found my comfort zone and vow to stay out of it in exploration of something more.
In my first week, I noticed quite a few things. For starters, New Yorkers stare. And not just the creeps you see hanging out in dark alleys (not that I've ever been in any other than in my nightmares), but even the fairly normal-looking people. It may be because I have a smiling problem and they don't. New Yorkers don’t smile enough, so naturally they’re surprised when I smile at them. They probably think I’m crazy. Ask me if I care. The world needs a lot more love.
I also found that everyone here is always in a hurry, even when they don't have to be. It seems they have become so accustomed to the rat race that even when they have time, they don't stop to enjoy life. I hope that doesn't become me. I want to always make time to soak in life's sweet moments. The other night on the train, I was thinking about my freshman year of undergrad and the good times I had with the friends who became family. I will never get those moments back, but I so wish I could sometimes. Someday, I may say the same about the time I spent here in New York. So my days here will not be wasted.
Now, about grad school: it's a lot like undergrad. You have the slackers and the overachievers, the invigorating and mind-stimulating professors and the ones who drone on and on. (If you're reading this, Prof. Breakenridge, you are most certainly the former.) And we can't forget the group projects and presentations and seemingly endless reading assignments. What's different is, of course, the content and discussion thereof. We examine many more case studies than I did in undergrad, which I find extremely useful for practical application. Everyone knows you can't learn everything you need to in a classroom or from a book. But you can learn from the past and from your professors and peers. I can honestly say I am impressed with my fellow classmates and their accomplishments, as well as with my professors and their teaching styles.
Right now, I have a lot of free time on my hands, but in a couple weeks I will begin an internship with Simon & Schuster, a top publishing company. When I tell you this opportunity of a lifetime fell into my lap, I mean it. And that’s why I think it was sent from above. I believe in signs like that. What's meant to be always will be. And I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be now.
I feel blessed to be who and where I am. This is what dreams are made of.