We arrived at 10:30, driving through a tree-lined residential neighborhood to the building that is my new home. As I ran up the front steps to gather the keys, my mother prepared herself: it was photo-taking time. Obviously we took one with my new keys. I am so excited to be here.
Then we moved boxes from the car into my small bedroom. When I say small, I mean it's just about the perfect size for me. Just about.
After an hour of that, my parents and I boarded the "J" train from Jamaica Avenue and rode about 45 minutes into Manhattan — yeah, my neighborhood is pretty far from downtown. But the train ride is mostly elevated, and I've got a great view and some fun podcasts/books/news articles to entertain myself with, so I'm not worried.
We stopped by 20 Cooper Square, otherwise known as the home of NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, otherwise known as my home away from home. There, I interviewed with Prof. Mitchell Stephens to see if he would let me help him do research for a biography he's writing — I know, I thought it sounded perfect, too!
The interview lasted an hour, and the whole time I couldn't figure out how it was going. I can usually tell, can usually read people, but this job that I wanted so much was proving itself to be somewhat difficult. In the end, I was given a stack of papers and told to fact-check. I'm pretty excited, not gonna lie. Total nerd alert.
And then I picked up my NYU ID card!
We had a delicious lunch at Katz's Delicatessen, which is an experience in itself. We walked into a large room filled with people where a brusque man handed us a pink ticket with the warning that if we lost it, we would be forced to pay a $50 fine. Yikes. Another man, who called my mother "baby," which totally threw me off, showed us to our table. I ordered a reuben sandwich and am planning on eating the second half for lunch today. Cause it was absolutely huge.
Afterwards, we rode home and spent the evening unpacking. We've made a ton or progress. All the boxes are empty and what remains to be done involves personalizing the place — curtains, shelves of knickknacks, and a bookshelf.
I was in bed by 9:15 p.m. I have definitely mastered the NYC party life ;)
I'm not going to lie; when I went to bed last night I was feeling incredibly unsure of myself. During the drive up, I sent this text to a friend:
And while I knew that the second part was true, I was really feeling the first part. It didn't hit me until we drove into the city that I'm really doing this, this thing that I've dreamed about for three years. I'm moving to New York City. I'm going to grad school for journalism. I'm staking everything on the hope that this will work out and be my future.
The fear that I'm wrong is overwhelming. So going to bed last night, I was filled with unease and worry.
I woke up at peace and contented. I looked around my room and thought, "This is home." I went for a walk around the neighborhood, where I forgot for a second that I'm in New York and I smiled at a stranger.
He did not respond in kind. Lesson learned.
I also got lost, but refused to pull out my GPS and managed to make my way back home. In doing so, I've gained an understanding of the layout of this place, and I feel even more at home.
I honestly can't believe this is my life right now. And as scared as I am, I know that if I hadn't taken this step, I would regret it forever. I would spend every day wishing I were here, wishing I were stepping out into the blind and praying for God to catch me on the way down.
And yet I feel so okay. Because no matter what happens, God will catch me. I might live in this city for the rest of my life — I hope that's what happens. But I might not. Either way, it will be alright.
I've been in the city for 24 hours now. I can't wait for the thousands of hours to come.