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From the view of a 20-something dream chaser.

My (New) New York

Saturday, September 15, 2012


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 meant we 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.

5 comments

  1. First, I would like to say welcome to NYC and I hope that you find what you are looking for during your stay here. I definitely enjoyed reading this blog, especially since it literally made me laugh out loud when you described the typical New Yorker; Yes I am guilty of it all! It's interesting to hear an outsiders perspective about our actions. So just know that I will be smiling more often to help you spread the love and will be living the moment when I'm not too late for an event. Congratulations on the internship position with Simon & Schuster. I'm sure you'll learn a lot from the company and will come back to share with your fellow classmates. Thanks for this awesome blog, New York reminder, and intro about yourself.

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  2. Michelle, I am glad you enjoyed reading and even laughed out loud! So glad you taken an oath to help spread the love, too. I'll keep everyone updated with my internship and my other New York findings right here, so please keep following :-)

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  3. Delesia, I really enjoyed reading this post. I was so interested to see what you would say and you definitely delivered! The post was wonderfully written and intriguing to the reader. NYU is a fantastic school! You will achieve many great things and this is only the beginning. God has so many amazing things planned for you that you couldn't even imagine. I've been to NYC before (I'm from NJ) and I think the further you go South the culture is different. People here (Virginia) are considered to be nicer because they smile and speak but this is the opposite up North. People don't talk on the subway or in the streets because people are simply crazy. I'm not saying everyone but people deliberately put their headphones in or read the newspaper as to not attract unwanted attention. After living here in NY for the next couple of years you may start to do that too just to keep the crazies away from your radiant beauty. LOL! Please keep writing blog posts and also put up pictures of anything and everything. I'll be reading/looking. Best, Abbesi (Abby)

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  4. ABBESI! Thank you so much for reading. It means a lot. I really am so happy and blessed to be living my dream and glad I can share it with everyone who's interested. I just hope I maintain my Southern kindness. Thanks again for reading. I hope all is well in your fabulous life!

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  5. I can’t agree with you more. New York is a city that can’t stop. People are always hurrying. One can easily tell who is a New Yorker and who is the tourist. I have noticed that even some of my classmates are always busy, once the classes are over, the classroom will be empty no more than three minutes. Normally these classmates are New Yorkers. So, sometime when I talk to people, I worry that I am wasting their time.
    I love your smile, actually I remember you for that smile. I have not been in other places in America yet, but in New York, forgive me to say this, people judge all the time. It is not weird though. Most big cities have that problem. In Shanghai, China, some of the native even reject outsiders. I just learned to stay who I am instead of worrying that I won’t fit in here. So please keep that smile, the world does need more love. However, besides all these, New York is still an amazing city. No one can deny that.
    Last but not least, congratulations for your internship. Hope you are enjoying it now. Please share your experience with us.

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