I made $7.60 an hour pushing grocery carts and cleaning bathrooms. It wasn't glamorous, but I was 18 and I needed a job so I wouldn't have to go to my parents for every single expense: for school supplies or for that extra coffee. We had loans for tuition already, and I wanted to do my part to contribute, and also to start saving up when I could.
I left that job in January 2008. I hadn't been doing well -- personally, academically, mentally. After a series of events and the right people in my life, three years later by the time I was ready to graduate, everything had changed, and it's been changing ever since.
On this day four years ago, I boarded a Bolt bus in DC with a suitcase and a backpack with a short-term internship lined up, but nowhere to live and no idea how long I'd actually be in New York City. I left 80% of my possessions in DC at Laura's place and mailed to Reveka's apartment in Albany, and it would take me three months to get everything moved officially into the Harlem apartment I was lucky enough to find four days after moving to the city.
I still remember the bus ride to New York. I sat on the right side of the bus in the front, so I could see the road the whole time. I wrote emails thanks to the bus wifi, and the ride felt like it went by at twice the speed. I was tired because I'd been up the night before filled with anxiety and on the phone wondering out loud if I should change my mind and leave New York for another year.
|The first picture I took from the living room of my New York City apartment.|
New York hasn't been easy. Pick any blog post, and you'll probably find an anecdote about the city that's infuriated, confused, frustrated me. Sometimes, I love this city; other times, I can't wait to leave.
Here's to whatever the future holds. Bring it on, New York.