i kept it a secret, via social media because i thought i was creating some sort of narrative...? idk! i'm pretty sure everyone reading this already knows. (just act surprised, ok??)
i'm moving to new york city, babieeees!
looks like i'm getting that MET membership sooner than i thought! it took me 3 years to build up some nerve, but i am moving to the place that makes me come alive. i went for the first time in 2014 to meet with people at sesame street workshop, and fell in love with the city. my dear friends, whitney and kevin let me crash on their couch for a week and gave me their spare key so i could come and go as i pleased. even with full-time jobs and packed social lives and a two-year-old charlie, they didn't hesitate to make me butter coffee every morning, and show me all their favorite things in the city. whitney even indulged my need to see a celebrity, and waited outside belthazar for an hour with me to see if victoria and david beckham would come out. (they dipped out the back. paparazzi was pissed.) the rest of that week i figured out the subway, grabbed fruit from the corner bodega, found a rhythm and fell in love. when i left a week later, i shed actual tears of grief. soft sobs, really. even the homeless guy who'd threatened to kidnap me in penn station, hadn't fazed me. i was in love.
i like to think i'm different from everyone who moves to new york just because they're bored where they are. nyc was never my dream. it was never even on the horizon before sesame street, but that's how some of the best things in life happen to you! the most striking thing was how i felt more at home there than i ever did in oklahoma--and i've lived there all my life. i can't fully explain it. all i can say is that it's deep and stirring; something beyond me and beyond the city, and totally from God. when i say that i cried the first time i left, what i mean is i cried all the times i left--on planes, in airports, in ubers. when i left last september i was in the middle seat on the plane, where it is impossible to be discreet with your overflowing emotions, and the beautiful african woman sitting beside me asked, "ah you oh-keh?" i responded with my old standby when i'm caught crying--"yeah i'm...i'm ok....i'm just tired......(softsob softsob softsob)."
in january after landing in tulsa, tears welling up like i'd just left the love of my life, i gave my feelings some validity and said, "i need to take this seriously." i'd actually taken that trip to check out neighborhoods and meet with someone in the field i thought about pursuing. that all fell through, though and it was honestly for the best. i was overthinking the process (go figure). i thought if i put a few things in order, i'd convince myself it was ok for me to be there. (as if it isn't!) but God is so gracious and he allowed all those things to fall through so i could spend time with new and old friends, and start building a community there. (yes, i realize this is the 3rd time i've mentioned this trip. it was a really important trip to me.)
at that point, i was thinking of moving by january 2018.
"ummm no. you need to move here in 3 months", my friend, leslie, said. "just do it!"
but i was about to quit my job and didn't have enough to comfortably move. (also i am way too much of a planner to pick up everything and move that quickly. le sigh. i still have time to build up sponteneity, right?) regardless, what she said lit a fire under me and i thought, "maybe not by april, but i can be here by the end of 2017!" so i set a hard deadline for myself--my 30th birthday--december 12. i definitely wanted to do something grand for my 30th and i think moving to new york is the best birthday gift i could ask for.
sometimes when i tell people about the move they say, "yeah! and if it doesn't work out, that's ok! you can just come back home!" no no, girl. this isn't one of those times. that might've been the narrative a few years ago, but this is honestly a "burn the ships" moment for me. i'm not looking for a safety net or a back up plan. it's just time. i ain't scared! jk i'm kind of terrified, but also exhilarated!
if you're wondering any of the following: "where are you gonna live? do you have a job lined up?? what do you want to do there???" the answer is "lolololol. i love that you think i know all this, 4.5 months out." it is darn near impossible to have an apt/job blindly lined up before arriving in new york city, (some people say it's possible, some impossible. i'm gonna err on the side of impossible because it's pretty impossible). i'm not playing it all by ear, but i'm also not planning too far ahead. some things will just have to be figured out when i'm there. this has been calling to me for 3 long years, and it's time for me to jump.
photos of nyc from my iphone