My First New York [NaBloPoMo 12]

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 / 5:09 AM

I literally waited 10 minutes for the train yesterday, only to take it one stop and realize I'd gone the wrong way. Which is something that's been happening more often than usual lately. I can't figure out if I'm not being very attentive, or if I'm just forgetful and can't remember where I'm going.

I remember the very first time I visited New York (it was at the end of 2011, a month before I moved here), all I could think to myself was "How do people get around??" There were so many subways and platform levels and everyone moved so fast, so confidently. There was almost no way I would be able to keep up if I lived here.

And then I moved here and had no choice but to figure it out. I was desperately terrified of getting lost or getting on the wrong line. The day I took the bus to New York felt like the fastest bus ride. I was dropped off at Port Authority with a suitcase and a backpack and got stuck in an elevator with a homeless man who asked me if his sign was spelled correctly.

When I walked out onto 8th Ave, I didn't know how to get a cab or how to tell the driver, once I got one, where to go because I didn't have a home, just a couch I was planning to crash on until life fell into place.

DC wasn't this confusing.

Perhaps that's the answer to my current state of confusion on trains. I've been here almost four years now--that's longer than I thought. I grew comfortable with going through the motions. It never occurred to me to be on my toes when I'm used to just grabbing downtown lines from home.

And that's odd to me because "comfortable" isn't how I ever pictured myself in this crazy, chaotic city. How can one be "comfortable" when you're stomping down the sidewalk past tourists, trying not to spill coffee all over yourself?

Apparently, it's possible. Apparently, I'm doing it.

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