When was the last time you did something and thought, “Wow that was so crazy and fun and freeing and now my life is better because of it??” I can assure you it wasn’t because of something you already had planned or even something you wanted to do.
Okay. So I’ve been trying to write about New York for some time now, and I really just don’t even know where to start. This post is going to be the beginning of conversations around how I got to this point, how I’m doing here, what I’m doing, etc. The short story is I got a paid PR fellowship with the most rad agency ever and living here is awesome, but in the original sense of the word, “filled with awe”, “awe-inspiring.”
The only thing I can think of putting into words about my experience in New York is showing up, or saying yes. I feel like this is a very common thread in my life over the years, yes, I know, I’m only 22, let me live people #ugh
I’m over trying to make these sound like fine literature, so posts from now on are going to be written exactly like you’d hear me say it to a friend, minus the cursing.
If you know me personally, you know I’m a very careful, mom of the group, introverted control freak. I never do anything reckless or exciting and basically sit on the couch and watch Netflix documentaries about the most random of topics.
Anyways, I moved to New York, on a whim like never been to the city hello I’m now living and working here whim. I helped build a church, on a whim. I meet new friends here, all the time, on whim(s)? idk. Are you starting to get what I’m saying? Sit back and let me tell you two New York stories. I hope they make you feel things and I hope I can articulate what I’m trying to get across.
So, y’all know I love Jesus, and I was worried about New York not being religious enough for me to feel grounded, so I Google mapped churches near me and I found a really cool contemporary one close by. I went on their website and you could rsvp for a service or something, I forget, it’s irrelevant anyways, so I end up getting a text from this girl and she was like we should get coffee together and I was instantly like “…ehhhhhhh…nah.” I’m too awkward for that and I don’t want to be uncomfortable, so I was trying to blow it off, but couldn’t be rude so I made plans to get coffee and in my head, I made excuses of why I’d have to leave if it got weird.
Anyways, the day comes to get coffee and I had a super long day at work, was really tired and grumpy and I’d rather get hit by a cab than go have coffee with some girl I didn’t know. It sounds horrible, but we all have those days. I felt really bad and knew I had to go meet her, so, naturally, I complained the whole way there. I could have easily just not shown up or texted her and been like yeah sorry, I can’t. Little did I know, that would be one of my favorite nights here so far and the beginning of a lot of beautiful friendships. So here’s the deal: I showed up to the coffee place. I walked my two little legs six blocks to meet her and have a $5 hot chocolate (New York, I love to hate you). We were discussing the church and moving here and the burg we live in and she was like hey, so there’s this event at the church tonight for people who serve on staff and you should come and meet everyone. This was legit my nightmare of a situation. I hate meeting new people, and being in big social settings is like the least cool thing I can think of, but what are you supposed to say to that, so I was like “ya..let’s go…”
So we’re walking and I’m figuring out how to shut this down and be like “oh.. super sorry I forgot I have this thing,” but we had arrived and she starts introducing me to everyone and the people were so kind and authentic and welcoming and I was like woah where am I?? So I immediately get thrown into setting up the church (lil back story, they rent out a concert hall and set up and take down the church every Sunday) and I was useful and it felt ~right~ building up something that was important to me, and it was my sixth day in the city and people kept asking me how I was getting involved so quickly and I said literally I don’t know lmfao I just showed up here with that girl.
So I make innumerable amounts of new friends and the lights were twinkling and the rooms were loud with laughter and engagement and people were hugging and shaking hands and praying and I listened to one of the best sermons and worship I’ve ever been a part of, and I just sat there and looked around and wondered to myself how this all happened. It was in my decision to show up at the coffee shop and it was in my decision to follow her here. I was nervous and not looking forward to it, but can you imagine if I hadn’t shown up that day? That one choice to get a $5 hot chocolate has changed the trajectory of my life here in Brooklyn. I ended up spending 5 hours at that church meeting people and serving and worshipping and listening and learning and my heart was so full.
Did that story not make you feel good inside? Don’t worry, I’ve got one for you non religious folk, too. Mostly (;
So a week passes and my new church has 34 weekly dinner parties across New York and it was the first one for me, wow right? I got a text invite to the taco dinner and it was a 8 pm, which if you know me is problematic because I eat at 4:30 like a grandma and I’m horrifically picky, so any time food is involved with strangers, it’s a no from me. Anyways. I got off work and was tired again and had to shower and run errands, so the reoccurring thing here is that I get myself attached to things I don’t feel like doing at the time. So 7:45 rolls around and I’m at Rite Aid buying a hair dryer because my Airbnb doesn’t have one, and I’m like omg I have to get to the dinner party like right now, I can’t be late to my first one. So I’m dragging a freaking hair dryer and groceries across Brooklyn to get to this girl’s apartment I don’t know.
I get there and I step into the elevator with two guys who clicked the same floor button as me, we all make eye contact knowingly and they introduced themselves to me and I was like oh here we go, it’s about to get awkward. Except it wasn’t. So we get to the rooftop, (rooftops sold me on new york guys, swear) and people are there greeting me and offering me margaritas, as if I could refuse a marg HA, and there were chips and salsa, so I was feelin’ myself.
This guy, who I’m really hoping isn’t reading this rn, was talking to me and getting to know me and discussion was great and I was feeling very encouraged and trying to put myself out there and I was, again, making a lot of friends. So we’re all talking and eating and guys. I ate a taco. Like with stuff in it. Like with avocado and corn and pineapple and chicken. If you know me, you’re pausing here, like no she didn’t, this whole story is a lie. Except for it’s not. We ate and talked and laughed and looked out at the amazing view of Manhattan and watched the sun set and the lights twinkle and ate this delicious cake and then it was all winding down and getting pretty late. So people are leaving and I’ve been talking to this now guy friend for some time now and it was dark af and I was v concerned with getting SVU’d because we all love Law and Order duh but no one wants to end up on the show, but he was like you should come to the apartment with us and… guys, you know this now, what did I do? I went to the apartment.
So we had more discussion there and we all exchanged information and he got an alert on his phone that some satellite thing was happening in the sky so he was like you have to come see this and I was like, (what guys? What is the answer I’m looking for here?) I said yes. So we went back on the roof and it was just the two of us and he was teaching me about stars and we were talking about our journeys, and this isn’t a love story, relax, I’m just saying that we were standing on a random rooftop looking at Manhattan all lit up and the stars were out and I was thinking to myself again, how in the world did I get in this incredible situation(???) It was because I dragged my hair dryer 10 blocks to a random apartment. It was because I stayed engaged with people. It was because I accepted his invitation to the roof even though he could have been a serial killer. It was because I didn’t go home just because it was getting late. He showed up too, he was leaving the next day and could have skipped dinner to pack or gone home after eating to wake up early, but there he was, showing up. It’s about feeling validated that things like that are out there just waiting for you if you let them. Me and my coworkers downloaded Tinder earlier that day (bc ny is #lonely + food is #expensive) and I was talking to random guys across the city, (I need friends + #drinks) but then you meet someone in real life, the old fashioned way, and that’s what life’s about and I refuse to let that go.
I found myself in the blazing energy of a church that sets people free, I was worshipping with a hundred people I’d never met. In a concert hall. At 10 pm. On a Wednesday. Because I let myself. I was on the roof of a building I don’t live in. At 12 pm. On a Wednesday. With a guy I didn’t know. Watching the stars and talking about life. Now I’m realizing maybe this is a Wednesday thing… I’m just kidding. Maybe.
They say you’re never more than 20 feet away from someone you know in New York or someone you’re supposed to get to know. I was supposed to meet him. I was supposed to meet those people. I was supposed to build that church. These things are a part of my story and things that change my story. And I was tired and I was grumpy and I was not feeling up to it, but I went and my life will forever be changed because of it.
So I don’t give a ~frick~ if you don’t want to go to that new meeting, or you’re too nervous to go to that food festival by yourself or you’re tired and don’t feel like meeting up with your friend; go. You could meet your soulmate, or get hired to a new cool job, or you could find a new community, or a new favorite restaurant, or engage in a life altering experience. You’re not going to do anything if you sit home, but it’s when you leave, it’s when you say yes, it’s when you show up for coffee, that the magic happens.
~life’ssss what you makeeee it, so let’sssss make it rockkkk~