- Coworker: I love school. I'd be a professional student if I could.
- Me: I never liked school. But I did like the partying part in college.
- Coworker: Of course you hated school.
- Me: Why do you say that?
- Coworker: Because you hate structure. And being told what to do.
- Me: Oh. Yeah. I guess you're right.
- Right when you think you have yourself all figured out, you realize you don't.
Last month, I relieved the anticipation that had been building up in my mind and into my neck for the past three years. With the help of my dad and a few other people who love me, I packed up a Penske truck full of my old, shitty furniture that I couldn’t bear to let go of and headed east to New York City.
After a few long days staying in fleabag motels and driving in rain, sunshine, and through mountains, we arrived at what I would learn to call my new home, the Upper East Side of Manhattan. How I pulled it off, I haven’t a fucking clue. And without the help from work, who knows if it would have even happened. I’m forever indebted to work.
And then there we were, waiting for the movers to arrive and bring my stuff up five flights of stairs. I paced around my empty bedroom, making small talk with my new Craigslist roommate who I had only met briefly before. And in that moment, I never knew if a place so vast, so big, so loud — so different from small-town Texas — would ever feel like home. But I would pretend.
Fast forward six weeks.
Work asked me to come back to Dallas to help out with a new business pitch for a week. I gladly accepted. I was a little homesick. Three days later, I was on a plane back to the Lone Star State. Eight days passed. I saw loved ones, I worked my ass off, I cried, and I ate the shit out of some tacos. I felt like I was home. And then I got on a plane back to New York.
This was my fourth time on a LaGuardia-bound plane. My first as a resident of the city — but my fourth nonetheless. And every time I would hear the flight attendant say “nonstop service to LaGuardia” right before boarding, my anxiety would set in.
Going to New York City always cued anxiety. Which is usually a mixture of nervousness and anticipation and excitement — but mostly nervousness.
But not this time. And as the plane lowered into the Manhattan skyline, I was calm. I was home. I knew my way around. I didn’t have to make sure I had a full charge on my phone because the keys to my next stop were right in my bag. I was getting in a cab and going to 90th & 1st Ave., where all of my old, shitty furniture awaited me.
Today, I worked from home. Eight days of long hours and traveling did me in. I needed a littler inspiration other than my couch, so I set up shop at the Starbucks around the corner.
And now, as I sit here in the window with my coffee and laptop, watching all of the weird New Yorkers scurry past me, hearing the car horns of angry cab drivers blare louder than the Diane Krall song playing inside, I have never felt more at home.
This place is weird and loud and mostly obnoxious. And I love it.
— Ernest Hemingway
I can’t ever seem to keep my momentum with denim-on-denim outfits. I feel put-together and stylish in the morning, and resemble a disheveled car mechanic by noon.
These are the things that keep me up at night.