Affording my Mistress: New York City

I have traveled more than the average person.  I shouldn’t be afraid of a new adventure.   What is there to be afraid of?  As the wheels touched down onto East Coast soil, I kept repeating to myself over and over again: I’ve traveled to 30 countries. This is nothing. I’m a world traveler. This is nothing.

But I knew I was only kidding myself.

I knew I wasn’t prepared for the “we don’t mean to be mean, but we are rough,” mentality.  I wasn’t prepared for the subways.  I wasn’t prepared for the expensive lifestyle.  And I wasn’t prepared to try and save money by not ordering the Lumberjack Breakfast at Bar Matchless.

I guess, I thought maybe New York would be the one thing (out of all people, places, and things) to pop my bubble, to be so bold as to convince me that fairytales really don’t exist.

I have been in New York for three days now, and I still have yet to greet a grumpy being.  Everyone has shown a good sense of humor, helped me find my way on the subways, and my favorite, related to me in my process of moving to New York.  A lot of the people I have spoken to in small shops, on the subway, in parks, or on the streets have a little glimmer in their eye when I tell them I moved here a couple of days ago.  Most of them are transplants themselves, and they tell me it’s tough, but they also say it with such warmth that I can tell New York will always be their home.  I never detect any regret.

I met up with a friend in Williamsburg the other day.  I had taken the subway, made the transfer, and in three stops, I would get off of the L and be just around the corner from Blue Bottle Coffee.  I started day dreaming.  I may or may not have been day dreaming about a certain somebody who is studying in Israel.  And all of a sudden, I realized I had no idea how many stops I had gone by.  It turns out I missed my stop about six stops ago.  I had to get off the train and take another the opposite way.  I felt like such an idiot, but at the same time I had to laugh.  It was so like me.  It all made sense: I was the day dreamer, and New York was still willing to take me on a ride.

I have a traveler’s mentality, but I need to start shaping that into an everyday mentality.  Of course, for another few days, I will still be in Wonderland, but I can’t keep trying everything my eyes wrap around.  A very kind, responsible, and generous friend is letting me sleep on his couch until I can get on my feet.  As soon as I find one of those “Job-things” (Yes, I’m going to keep calling it that until I get one), I’ll let him have his couch to himself once again.  Then he won’t have to worry about me throwing out my mat and doing yoga in his living room/kitchen or my suitcase taking up a good eighth of the room.

I surprised my temporary roommate by telling him I had applied to Starbucks and had been in and out of handfuls of stores asking if they were hiring.  I could tell he was upset, and he expressed his thoughts on me settling for less—for not taking advantage of all that New York had to offer.  Perhaps he is right.  Perhaps this is the frightened Jade, looking for any scraps she can get.  However, I came here to take the city in.  As long as I can afford that, I think I’ll be happy.  I wouldn’t mind a serving or barista job if I get to interact with the people—have a piece of the city approach me one after another as the hours go by.  

Plus, my real focus is in writing.  I don’t know if an office job in front of a computer wouldn’t suck the muscles I have for the keyboard right out of me.  I doubt that would be possible, but perhaps holding a job outside of the writing world will give me more to write about.  I can avoid the risk of “burn-out” that way.

It’s definitely something I need to think about, but more than thinking about, HOLY CRAP I need to get a job.  I’ve seen some comments on my blog/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: “I wish I could afford your lifestyle.”  Well, friends, it’s kind of you to think I can afford it.  I live to the fullest, but my wallet suffers to its emptiest as well.  I’m afraid my expiration date, budget-wise, is coming to an end at a pace I don’t quite like.  Falling in love with New York and not begin able to afford it has been hogging the cause of my fears.  Maybe this city is out of my league.

That being said, while ducking in and out looking for work, I’m going to enjoy this city as much as I can.  I may not have all of the money in the world, but without the work, I have plenty of time.  New York, the boots I have aren’t made for walking, but I brought my running shoes too, so you’re in luck.  These shoes are going to run all over you!  I’m going to see every inch of the city.  I’m going to learn the subway routes.  I’m going to know how to get to the L and find Williamsburg no matter where I start from. 

Yes, I’m scared.  Actually, I think I’m more afraid than I have ever been.  Maybe it’s a good thing, like a jump into an icy lake.  Maybe it will wake me up, make me feel alive…Or maybe I’ll freeze/drown to death. *Insert nervous laugh here* 

Anyway, New York, quit playing hard to get.  Let’s get me a job, find me a roommate, and get this ball rolling already.

"Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran

New York Bound