Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If I Can Make It There...

...I'll Make It Anywhere.

In case you hadn’t noticed, today marks one year of Angelene in the Big Apple. It may be thoughtlessly cliché to say “time flies when you’re having fun,” but it’s accurate because I’ve never been so supremely satisfied. Frankly, moving to NYC was the best decision I ever made. When I think back on the hesitation preceding the move, the car accident, the job woes, the questions, the uncertainty – all I can say is that despite all safe counsel to the contrary, I am delighted I moved anyway. I’m having the time of my life! I adore my job, I have brilliant friends and I never get bored, a particularly significant factor in my pursuit of happiness. NYC is everything I hoped it would be times infinity plus one.

The concerns I had prior to moving up melted away as I easily adapted to city life. Finding a job was a snap. I’m afforded travel opportunities that I never could have dreamed of with my last employer. I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a PR practitioner learning from big budgets, smart colleagues and outstanding clients. The trips to The Bahamas have been lovely as well.

Adjusting to home life was tough at times, though living with girls isn’t as crummy as I thought it would be. There have been ups and downs in Apt. 1E, but I can’t say I mind the “downs” because they give me funny fodder for party chit-chat. Another adaptation I thought I’d have trouble making – living without a car. Gradually, I’ve learned to navigate the subway (ok, sort of) and to be firm with cab drivers, “What would possess you to drive through Times Square right now?!” Now I can’t imagine driving a car every day.

Pre-move worrying over whether I would find a church home or a good gym was all for naught. I found the most phenomenal gym where everybody knows my name and my church is full of southerners who warmly welcome me every Sunday.

I’ve grown unpredictably close to new friends and old acquaintances and I attribute that to the fact that we’re all living on this island, spinning a million-miles-an-hour so we’ve no choice but to hold on to each other for dear life. My small group has been instrumental in making this year a success, especially during the months leading up to Mom’s surgery. While I’m not one to turn to others for help, their encouragement demonstrated God’s divine wisdom in the friends He hand-picked for me.

So, what do I want out of my next year in NYC? I want to survive without compromising who I am or what I want. I’ve learned how to exist here and even how to thrive, but it’s not always effortless. There are forces to be reckoned with and no matter how feisty or confident I am, day-to-day NYC is no walk in the park (well, unless you’re in the park.) From managing typically simple tasks like laundry or grocery shopping (tiresome undertakings in Manhattan), to coming to terms with the dearth of Christian guys, to thinking every explosion or plane crash is a terrorist attack – there is an underlying level of trepidation that accompanies living here at the center of the universe.

I think a general misconception about Big Apple Angie is that I’m just floating around the streets of Manhattan in an oblivious bubble of youthful exuberance. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just happen to believe God is in charge of my life, He wants me in NYC and so I leave it to Him to manage the details. If I’m meant to meet “someone,” then God will facilitate the meeting. If I’m meant to move to Africa, God will send me there. If I’m destined for some untimely fate, so be it. I don’t have time to squander fretting about the what-ifs!

While there are those who advise me to “settle” or “be careful” or “slow down,” all I can say is I owe it to myself to marinate in the city’s colossal oomph factor and to live accordingly. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling right now than this adventure!

As for when I’m going to come home, wherever home is, I really can’t say. Perhaps when the sheer force of the city wears me out, when my knees hurt too bad to walk 10 miles a day, when everyone else has married and moved away, when I decide that renting really is as stupid as I secretly know it is, when I grow weary of ordering my groceries online, when I tire of buying plane tickets to visit Atlanta and Florida, well, then maybe I’ll think about cashing in my chips.

For right now, NYC is my boyfriend, my best friend and my city of choice.

"I've fallen in love with many cities, but [nothing] could surpass the bliss of my first year in New York."
Truman Capote

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Happy One Year! I love you! :)