Today I had the pleasure of grabbing brunch with one of my dearest friends, Karen. Karen was visiting from Louisiana and headed back after our meal. Seeing Karen and catching up was so special and timely. This week is my 5 year anniversary of moving to the city.
Five years ago, I was going through one of the toughest times in my life. It was during that time that I had no one to rely on and no where to go. My sisters and mother were beyond encouraging and supportive, I wouldn't have made it through that period of my life without them.
Then the universe sent me Karen. I don't remember how Karen and I connected, but we bonded instantly. My ex had always tried to poison me against her, but she ended up being one of the people who saved my life. That whole period of my life is blurry. I would go to random parking lots and talk to Karen on the phone bawling my eyes out. She was my safe haven and support system when my entire world was upside down. She allowed me to be open and honest and never once judged me. She saw something in me that many people couldn't see and she pushed me to move to NYC.
The past five years have been filled with insane memories. Things you just can't make up. A shared bunk bed, underground casino, nightclub brunches and people who make you question everything about yourself. It's been good, bad and ugly. There are days I've sat on a park bench crying and others where I've danced my way home.
I've had my heart broken and sewn back together more than once. I've also broken a few hearts as well. I've rocked short hair, long hair and every color hair. I've read more books and watched more shows. I've predicted my future better than psychics and negotiated half decks for $10 bucks. I've found the best places for tacos and margaritas. I've entered into an open relationship with Manhattan and Montauk.
I've swiped right to the wrong people and left to potentially right people. I've given my business card out to a cutie on the subway. I've written my number in eyeliner on napkins. I've become family with most doormen in NYC. I've toasted on rooftops overlooking the most beautiful views of the city. I've gotten lost and then found. I've ridden every subway line in NYC. I've lived in 8 apartments and a hotel across Murray Hill, Upper East Side, Midtown, Lower East Side, Chelsea, Upper West Side and had a sharehouse in Montauk.
I've had (not including temp jobs) 6 jobs throughout my time here. Some were absolutely wrong for me, but taught me all I know today.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
If I hadn't catered, interned for a shoe designer, or worked at a million other places, I wouldn't be who I am today. I've learned that it's ok to hop around and find out what you like and what you don't like. I've learned that if you really enjoy something, you will be more successful. The only person you owe something to is yourself. Life is too short to be showing up to a place that doesn't value you, or see your potential.
Haters Gonna Hate
If I had listened to all of the people who told me I would never make it, I would've never made it. I was told I shouldn't even go to college. That I should work in a mall, because I love clothes. I was told I would come back with my pockets empty with copious amounts of debt and regret. Every job I left cautioned me against what the universe was moving me towards. People tried to make me afraid, but I let faith rule over fear.
The Universe Has You Boo
In 2012, the universe sent me Karen and 3 weeks later sent me to NYC. When you surrender to the possibilities life wants to open you up to, the universe shows up. Karen reminded me of times she was worried I wouldn't make it. There were so many times where I was beaten down by the man, homeless, broken up with, betrayed by friends, etc. There were times I thought I can't do this anymore. It's too hard to be supporting myself in this expensive city with no connections and no guarantor and no friends or job or love or hope. I'd let myself wallow, but eventually I got up again.
Get Back On The Horse
There were so many times that life just bucked me right out of the saddle. It felt like one day I'd be all trottin' along and the next I'm getting bucked off and stomped on. Regardless of how painful each lesson was I never questioned grabbing the reigns again.
Life Is Simple
We control our fate or we let our fate control us. Sometimes when you're at the lowest point possible the universe brings someone to pull you out of the hole. Karen did it for me and this weekend I saw strangers bond together to save a jumper in Nolita.
I was walking through the Broadway Lafayette stop when I saw people gathered around under a woman who was perched up on a beam. She wept so loudly as she shouted that no one cared about her. People below her talked to her and reassured her that she was cared for and loved. It was the most beautiful act of humanity I've seen in quite some time. I called the police and another person climbed across the beam to hold her and hug her. By the end of it, the police came and the woman rested her head on the stranger's shoulder.
As I celebrate my anniversary to my longest relationship yet, I'm filled with happiness and I'm proud. Nothing worth achieving is easy. I will be posting my plans over the next few weeks as I've spent this weekend evaluating what's next for me.
Thank you for reading and stay encouraged! The journey can be a lot, but it's always worth it.