Around this time, every year, I slip into an introspective phase. It’s organic. Nothing I do can trigger it. But I always wonder what brings it on. If it’s the re-emergence of the sun, and the birds, and the flowers. If it’s because May always used to mark the end of a school year. Or because summer is always a time to let go and start anew.
Last year, at this time, I was still living in Chicago. I had a great group of friends, my long-distance college love, a gorgeous condo in a peaceful neighborhood, and my sister living in the next room. I hadn’t settled on moving to New York yet, but was contemplating it. I had reached out to BBH on a whim, and was sitting tight to see if anything, by chance, would materialize. But it hadn’t. Not yet, at least.
Last year, at this time, I was four states away from the guy of my dreams. I couldn’t even imagine how wonderful it would be to see him after a long day. I hadn’t met any of my friends in NYC. The friends who would make me feel like a New Yorker in no time. I hadn’t yet realized that working for a totally kick-ass advertising agency wasn’t just a pipe-dream. And that it was, in fact, possible for a job to light your fire. To fill voids, and make you strip all the excess out of your life, just so you could devote yourself to it even more. And be happy about it! I didn’t know what it was like to work hard. And I mean, all-night, 6-cups-of-coffee, no time to eat or call your mom, hard. And still leave smiling.
I spoke to a good friend’s friend yesterday about moving to New York. I must have talked the poor girls ear off, because for 25 minutes, all I could do was rave. Yes, it was damn hard turning my life upside down, leaving my friends, leaving my sister (most of all), and our lovely home. Sometimes it sucks not to have my little Honda CR-V (named Bruce, if you must know) to swing by Trader Joe’s, or take a last minute weekend trip to surprise my Dad. And yes, there are days when the subway is gross, and strange men will say strange things to you, and then proceed to sing and play a harmonica. Sometimes you’ll pay $7 for a carton of juice. Or realize that you have somehow spent $50 on breakfast sandwiches in the last month. You skin may not be vibrant, and your hair may be a mess from all the long walks. But at the end of the day, when you finally climb into your bed, and shut off the light, you’re going to feel damn good. Because you live in New York City. You love your job. You’re in love & are loved back. And you finally feel like you’re living your life.
Knock on wood.