I wake up slowly in my small New York apt and can hear the city waking up the same way. The various sounds of daily life in Alphabet City looping and layering over themselves to create the track for the day. Birds, traffic, dogs barking, a trash truck. I can hear peoples voices drifting up from the sidewalk below, honking horns, kids playing and apparently the drum circle is meeting early today (those mother fuckers are relentless). It’s been breezy all week and I haven’t had to turn the window unit AC on yet. I am so glad for this because I much rather being able to hear the outside than the mechanical whir of forced air and have always found the swelling and swaying of gauzy curtains blowing in the wind romantic.
I wasn’t romanced at all when I first arrived. Still weak and exhausted from having spent the previous weeks sick, I climbed the stairs of an old building up to the 5th floor to find a stuffy, dirty and cluttered version of the one bedroom apartment I’d only otherwise seen photos of. It’s a furnished sublet, which I sought out intentionally so I wouldn’t have to commit to a lease, figure out utilities or haul furniture. And while I’m not dumb to the state of old buildings in East Village Manhattan, nor am I ignorant to the fact that a furnished sublet will include someone else’s things, I could not have fully anticipated the dirty and chipped tile floor, the layer of dusty grime on everything or the drawers, shelves and cabinets all full to the brim with stuff haphazardly filling every space (minus two shelves in the bathroom and a section of the Ikea wardrobe in the bedroom). I immediately felt my heart stiffen and my mind start to race with disappointment, doubt and anger. I felt so embarrassed that I had been so naive to think that I wasn’t being naive. I really thought I had done my research and found the best option for getting started.
So since that first day I have scrubbed and sorted and arranged the best I can to fit myself in here and I do feel much better about it. I’ve expressed my disappointment to the lease holder, done my best to adjust my perspective without loosing sight of my goals and I’ve found plenty of reasons to be out of the apartment, it is New York City after all. I’ve also had some money I was counting on fall thru, some opportunities dissolve and had to disconnect from some of my initial connections which leaves me somewhere between this being nothing like I thought it would be and everything that I hope it will be. Which is just a cryptic way to say…..it is what it is.
I was hasty to choose here. Not the city, but this space, and have spent a good part of each day overwhelmed with the nauseating feeling that I just invested my make it or break it money in the wrong thing. I was responding to an urgent message from within to get the fuck out of Indiana and I had plenty of ideas in my head about what I needed in order to do that, but rarely are the ideas that have only existed in my mind fully developed. They need real air in order to live and time to grow.
I haven’t wanted to talk too much about the amount of time I’ve spent having some of the least fun I’ve ever had because I knew it would pass and didn’t want to risk getting stuck in it by building words around it and I do have a peripheral sense that there is something bigger in the works. But I also feel like it’s unfair to not share anything about it in the case that the idea of me just stomping around the big apple without a care in the world has anyone’s skin crawling. Which would be a shame because it’s just not true.
I do love my location in the neighborhood and actually enjoy the five flights up to my little home. I have have gathered so much creative inspiration, tasted so many interesting foods and have had my eyes opened wide by many things I have never seen before and can feel myself moving more rhythmically inside and out. (except for numerous and painfully awkward high heeled stumbles). I am still extremely optimistic about what ever it is that’s compelled me to come here and already the holes of the things I’ve lost are being filled with new things. And I know you know this, but this is how life works. It sucks hard and we endure in order to unlock that reward. Over and over.
Most of the time the reward is not a party and sometimes it is just getting clear about what we ARE and ARE NOT willing to do and for WHAT. And always there is more to gain, than there is to loose when we can see that the good and bad are always in motion, dancing around us with each other.
So here I am, ‘living the dream’ of getting out of a small town and going full steam ahead towards the life I see for myself and it’s lead me straight into the arms of some of my biggest fears, but that’s just fine.
Because if my risk can help you gain a little courage to get out there in search of something greater or if my struggle can help you to be more prepared for your own journey than I am more than willing for forge forward. There have been plenty who have caught spider webs in the face for me. And if my success will give you hope that what you dream up, is in fact possible
Than let me be an example. For the better and for the worse.