I have really wanted to write this post for a little while for those that know me personally from North Carolina but also for those that may know me now and what it's like to go from North Carolina to the big city living.
So, I told you the story of the move. It happened SO FAST. We had the thought of "Okay, let's move" in January and we had moved by March. That should have been a precursor for the time to come. I feel like the past 6 months have been a complete whirlwind. When people laugh and say that everything is fast here, they aren't just making that up except for elevators. Elevators are slow. When we come back to NC now, even at convenient stores, we are kinda like WHAT ARE YOU DOINGGGG because it seems to take them an hour just to swipe our card. The speed at which New Yorkers have perfected is quite amazing.
It's been surreal living here. I look out of my window every morning and it's hard to believe I'm looking at the Statue of Liberty and I'm so thankful for that. I'm biased but I feel we live on the best spot on the island. We are right on the water, and right beside of the World Trade Memorial. It is really quiet in our area, mostly families, essentially no night life but that feels nice for what we call home. I can now say that it feels like home. I think that has happened in the past week, so I think that's why it was okay that I finally write this post.
We always like to describe NYC as the highest of highs but also the lowest of frustrations. There is nothing like walking out the door every day and passing these iconic buildings and on the weekends getting to experience things that most may never experience in their life. We have a big list and we work on checking things off week by week. The amount we have seen in the few months that we have been here has been UNREAL but also we could be here our whole lives and still not see everything. It was amazing when we moved because the first people that we came in contact with were our small group, church family and so we had immediate friends. This obviously made the transition a little easier.
A common conversation at most new gatherings in NYC are two questions:
1. What do you do?
2. How long do you plan on being in New York City
Almost everyone is a transplant, and so everyone wants to know how everyone else feels about it. Most of the time the conversation goes the same with everyone. Everyone wants to leave, but everyone wants to stay. Let me explain.
When you move here, all you have done is visit here. You haven't worked here. You haven't been here on bad days, good days, and all the days in between. You haven't experienced people at their absolute meanest and you haven't experienced the pace at which everything goes. You haven't been on a subway that's so packed that with being short, you are forced into the armpit of someone holding the railing above you. I was so busy when I arrived that I slept seriously like 5 hours a night for 3 months. This was also because I was training, trying to successfully keep up with business, study for boards and work full time at Walgreens in the Bronx (which is an hour subway ride from where I live). I was so exhausted. I also worked in a bad area of town and just to keep this story short, people hated the pharmacy before they even walked in the door and added bonus: a small white girl who looks like she knows nothing, has an incredibly ridiculous Southern accent and a complete inability to speak Spanish no matter how hard I tried.
But I lived for the weekends, and they were glorious. We have been able to go to the beach, kayaking on the Hudson, running by the Hudson, Statue of Liberty, Governer's Island, Coney Island, brunch, diners, rooftop bars, party cruise, dozens of new coffee shops, sail boats on the Hudson, dinner cruises, cheesecake, New York Stock Exchange, Wall street, Times Square, Little Italy, Chelsea, East Village, West Village, broadway plays, live music, bike rides, Brooklyn bridge, Manhattan bride, concerts in Central Park, ferry rides, taxi cabs, Bryant park, Central Park, and famous people. We also have the opportunity of being so close to many other things with a cheap bus system so we have gone to Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Boston. We are going to upstate NY (Adirondack Mountains) in 2 weeks as well. I am thankful. I am blessed.
However, it's not all glitz and glamour. So, I just wanted to share that aspect of it too. If you live here, you know it's not all glamour but from the outside, I feel it's an illusion. While we live at the best spot, it's also almost a mile to the Subway and we walk that every single day. While we have this beautiful view of the Statue, we also have to wait for extremely slow elevators where we pack like sardines and if you want to do laundry, you have to do this community style. I feel like a freshmen in college again except worse. One load of laundry costs $5. Believe me, this adds up. We had puppies so we had lots of poop and pee on blankets and towels, and it just felt like constant laundry. If you don't get the laundry out the minute it's done, someone will take yours out and put it on the table, or worse, the floor. Every man for himself.
That's the name of the game here. Every man for himself. No one cares about you. I don't mean this to sound awful but essentially, that's what it boils down to. People want to get from Point A to Point B. They don't care about being nice because they will never see you again. Shoot, I've noticed we do it now too. You become impatient because everything seems to take forever. You get frustrated and angry at the late subway to make you late for work. You get sick of paying $30 just for a quick stop with your husband for lunch. It's really hard giving your entire paycheck to rent when you know there are other things you could do with that. It's REALLY REALLY hard being fit and healthy and macro counters in NYC. Going to the grocery store is so much work and has to be scheduled appropriately so that we know that we have time (the lines are seriously a sight to see, i'm talking hundreds and hundreds wrapped around the building) and you have to make sure that you buy just enough to get by but not too much that you can't carry it back. Remember that mile walk from the Subway. Yep. You have to carry your bags that far. My husband eats over 3000 calories per day and I eat almost 2000. That's 5000 calories per day that we have to somehow fit into 4 grocery bags that we can carry home for the week. It gets annoying. And protein, oh how expensive you are. Tanner has this "protein per dollar" thing he does where he tries to find new items that are cheaper and weigh less so that we can easily get it home. HA!
We have found ourselves frustrated and angry a lot. Then, one week later, we are talking about how we want to stay longer. It's such a paradox. One day we want to leave as quick as we can then the next we are fawning over the ability to have this experience. So, we have come to the conclusion...ENJOY EVERY MOMENT. We don't want to walk away remembering the frustrations. We want to walk away remembering that we lived life like no other and had the time of our lives and held nothing back. It's hard to keep that mindset with Tanner working 3:30-11:30 Monday through Friday and it's hard when someone is mean to me. It's hard when I'm suffering with my groceries on the walk home but I know that I am getting an opportunity that some could only dream about, and for that, I am forever grateful.
With love and Manhattan,