Friday, August 15, 2008
Happy Anniversary to me and NYC
It was a year ago this week that I moved to The City. I have changed so much and learned so much in the past year.
When I first arrived, I was blown away by how different everyday life is here compared to that of Dallas and every other place I've lived. Suddenly, I didn't have a car, or motorcycle -- I still really miss the bike -- and yet I didn't miss driving. Okay, except when trying to haul a lot of purchased goods, such as wine, home to downtown.
No more supermarkets, either. Now I shop in little grocery stores that may or may not have all the items I'm looking for. And I buy my toiletries from a drug store. Before moving here, I would avoid buying items from a drugstore because of the ridiculously expensive prices. There even more outrageously priced here, but other than making a big excursion to Target in Brooklyn, the drugstore is the only place in Manhattan to get those items. And again, your choice is limited. (I remember going shopping with my sister Jenn in Austin and she was looking for a particular kind of personal item. She was frustrated that she couldn't find it, while I was amazed that she had a huge long aisle with multiple brands to choose from!)
My NY friends are proud of me that I'm becoming more of a NYer. I find myself frustrated with the tourists who get in my way when I'm walking quickly to work or late for church, but I'm still nice, too, and I've given many people directions, even going up and asking obviously confused tourists if they need help. My language has become more peppered with profanity, and I've learned how to bargain with street vendors and talk back to taxi drivers trying to take me out of my way for an extra buck.
I'm absolutely LOVING having four real seasons again! In Texas, spring and fall generally only last a week or two, and summer takes up 75% of the year, with numerous days over 100*F. Here, I get to enjoy the beauty of each season, and as fall is around the corner, I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures and wearing jackets again, not to mention the glorious colors as the trees turn.
I love learning about other cultures and different perspectives on life. It's been interesting to me to see the differences in my Texas friends and family and my NY friends. Take for instance my apartment. Here in NY, it is agreed that I landed a great place. My NY friends come over and say "WOW, it's so big!" My Texas friends and family make diminutive comments -- nothing deragatory,but they will say how it's small or cute or "not that big." I just smile, but when I related this to one of my NY friends, she was offended for me. I had to explain how much space I used to have in Dallas to try to give her an idea of the scale difference. Just different perspectives. It is much smaller, but I've simplified my possessions to just what I need.
When I moved here, saying goodbye to all my friends and family in Texas, I told myself I would try it for a year. I reasoned that I could do anything for a year, and I could always move back. But so much has happened in the past year...and I'm not ready to leave. I've met some wonderful new friends -- Lindsay, Rob, Erin, Liesel, Kelly -- and I've become even more independent and confident in myself. I still miss my family and friends back home, but in some ways, I cherish them more now.
And now, as I begin yet another adventure with a new job beginning on Monday, I'm hopeful and optimistic about whatever the next year brings.