Moving. Moving is a chore. Moving 3,408 miles is a whole other level of chore.
I had a month to close up my life in Oxford to get ready for a big move to NYC. I should be excited, right? Well … I was. I mean, I was stressed, and excited, and worried but in the end, it was my dream. At the age of 33 I abandoned my stable, yet little boring life for NEW and unknown.
Of course I was expecting hiccups and difficulties, but maybe not as many and not so often.
It was a big thing, so it started big.
How to break the news to family and friends? ‘Hey guys, I decided to move to NYC… I know it’s a sudden, BUT well I need to be there in a month… No, please do not worry. Everything will be fine!’. Will it though? I was worried. Of course, everyone around me will worry! I admit, it was a selfish decision and I knew I’ll pay a big price for it. Like missing birthdays, wine nights, babysitting, new boyfriends, old boyfriends, love drama, Christmas, Lucky dip (Johns family will understand), pointless drives around town, ‘girls’ love. It made me sad, but I smiled and hugged. Hoping dying of sadness is made up by Disney.
PACKING! Organising, reorganising, deciding what’s worth keeping and what’s not was an emotional trip (nearly as emotional as saying goodbye to loved ones). I had to pack my life into two suitcases that should precisely weigh 44kg. Who comes up with this kind of regulations?! 44kg. For the love of God, I’m a proud owner of 66 pairs of shoes! How on earth I meant to do that?!In the end, I came to peace with term luggage overweight payment.
Moving to the big city is a big thing. It’s not just about exploring. It’s learning rules, culture and how to fit in. And how do you fit in when world around is moving so fast? It’s difficult itself to know the difference between rudeness and plain New Yorkiness. I’m cynical and sarcastic, but New Yorkers are taking it to whole new level.
With slim chances of making a friends, I had to get used to city habitat – rats, mouse, cockroaches. I’ve tried (I really tried) pretending they are neighbors, ones that I was refusing to be scared off. Did not work. Saying ‘City never sleeps’ … well it doesn’t. Period. What I didn’t realise, is that I had to stay awake with it. I love my sleep and I need it – 8 hours of peace and quiet is not a lot to ask, right? Wrong.
Suffering from sleep deprivation and yearning for real friendliness or maybe just little of British politeness I was (and still am) ending up with a little heart attack when paying for groceries and cosmetic essentials. Relationship with the city can be a little bit like Marmite – you love it, or you hate it. Or you take a bite at the time letting flavours empower your taste buds.
Each subway ride is an adventure. Things you see and hear on the subway cannot be unheard or unseen. Spectacular breakdancing crew performance is a real great Instagram feed, but it wears off quicker than anticipated. Apartments. Getting one is a miracle. Not being able to touch the walls when arms stretched across is considered luxury. Luxury rarely has a luxury of a daylight. Windows fall straight to the apartment across the street and have a shared bathroom. Luxury also has luxurious price- $$$$. To my joy, I found out – walking is my thing. I fit in with my fast walking nature. I’m there marching around, matching speed of pedestrians around. Yet, it doesn’t stop an odd air conditioner drip from landing straight in my mouth. How? Well, I don’t know. But it’s New York City, everything is possible here.
Life in New York is different to life in any other place on this planet. It’s not easy that’s for sure, and it’s nothing like in a movie. But it gives you opportunity to write your own script and direct your very own movie. From skyscrapers to flying pigs. It’s all out here, waiting for you.