Well, well, well. When I wrote my last post in this blog-roll on January 18, I definitely did not intend to go literally six months without writing another blog post!
And yet here we are, six months later, and this is the first post I've written since then. Ha! Such is life, isn't it? It literally always takes you by surprise.
Another surprise: this section is no longer called "Travel." Yeah. That worked really well while I was in Europe and not working full-time and, therefore, actually able to travel, but it hasn't been a huge part of my life the last six months, to be honest. And I wanted a place to just sort of hash out my thoughts that are more miscellaneous, and/or give updates on important life events.
So, one update: I'm back in New York! If you follow me on social, you may already know this. In mid-February while I was in Columbia, SC, I fell into a pretty dark depression. I was seeing a doctor and a therapist and looking for jobs, and I just couldn't get out of the pit. And I missed New York. It was unhealthy how much. I was in a bad place mentally and unable to handle my homesickness.
And there was one thing I could do about it, so I did: I applied for a job that I had interviewed with before leaving New York, and after interviewing on the phone and feeling confident that I could at least make it to the next step of the hiring process, which happened to be a paid training period in the city, I made the decision to move up here.
The past four months haven't been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, I literally had, like $150 in my bank account when I left, or some nonsense like that. I was incredibly broke. At the same time, I didn't think I had the luxury of waiting. I didn't have good job prospects in South Carolina and, again, I was deeply, dangerously depressed. I was honestly afraid of what I would do if I stayed.
So I left. It was impulsive, and I went against the wishes of some people who I love and care about a lot. And things didn't turn out rosy and beautiful immediately. In the four months I've been in the city, I've lived in 10 different apartments, in three different boroughs (and twice in New Jersey). I left my car in a parking garage for three months without actually setting up an agreement to leave it there (and got it back thanks to people being gracious toward me). I have been completely broke more times than I can count — to the point where I went 24 hours without eating once; where I had $5 to get through a weekend; where I ate nothing but cereal and leftover shrimp lo mean for three days, and didn't leave the house at all because my MetroCard was expired.
I've been stretched completely thin so many times. And if I suddenly woke up in my bed in Columbia in March, knowing every single thing that lay before me on this trip, I'm not sure I would have the strength or the courage to come back.
But I don't regret doing it.
Things still aren't perfect, or set in stone. I'm living in an apartment in Queens, but only until the end of August, because that's when my sublet ends. I have a doctor and medication, but not a therapist. I miss Italy viciously, all the time. I haven't worked my novel in over a month, as much as I desperately desire to. I work the graveyard shift so I sleep during the day and sometimes that means I miss out on socializing with people.
But I don't regret doing it.
It's hard to explain, and even harder to understand, why I feel so tied to New York. Why I feel like I have to be here. It's not just that I love the city. I feel like I am meant to be here. Like my soul belongs here. And quite frankly, it's the closest city in America to the way of life I had in Italy, and so it's the easiest in which to live without agonizing over how much I miss my home (so, so much).
The truth is: I don't feel like my time in New York is over yet. I don't feel like I gave it my all. I feel like I have to fight harder. Because, yes, life here? So incredibly, freaking hard. My word. So hard.
But here I am. It's been an incredibly difficult period of four months. I am so blessed, and so grateful, that people have supported me. My friends, my family, even my job...I told myself I didn't deserve any help, because I made a choice to return here, and so it wasn't on anyone's shoulders to help me. And yet, they did.
I am blessed to have been helped by people. I am humbled by their love and support for me. Thank you.
Currently, I'm working full-time on a contract basis for a startup based in Manhattan. I am trying to get back into blogging and writing about books after a few months of a creative coma. I am still working on my latest novel, ALLIE MAE DOESN'T GET THE GUY, and my dream is still to be a published author of young adult fiction someday. I'm trying to get better about buying groceries as opposed to ordering takeout. I'm trying to work on my mental health.
There's a lot going on. There are moments of devastation, when I look at life and how long it is and how hard it is and I just despair. But those pass.
They always pass.
Hey, I love you guys. Thanks for reading this really long post. Let me know how you're doing!