I arrived in New York yesterday, but I have just now opened up my computer and discovered that, while I don’t have internet myself, there is an unsecured network available. Yay!
There are plenty of fun things to report, but for now, I want to capture what moving to New York has felt like.
So, I have always had this sense of adventure. I want to experience everything. I want to have a full and exciting life. But what lots of people don’t know is that I am generally terrified of almost every “new” thing I do. Remember the cooking class I took last summer. I was so scared…which probably sounds ridiculous (it’s a cooking class for heaven’s sake), but it’s true. The reason I try new things isn’t necessarily because I am so excited to do whatever it is I’m going to do (initially, anyway). It’s partly because, at the end of the day, or week, or whatever, I know that I will be so glad I did it. The other part is that I want to be “that” person; the person whose life is full of new experiences and adventures, the person who always has something interesting to talk about, the person who can connect with almost anyone because she’s tried so many things. I never want to let fear stop me from having a full life.
My point? The idea of moving to New York for the summer was fabulous…the idea. The reality of it scared the crap out of me. When I was packing up my life Saturday night/Sunday morning (no, I didn’t sleep at all, in case you were wondering), I started to really feel the fear. I didn’t ever actually give into it and break down, but the same thoughts kept running through my head: “You could have gone to Cisco in the Bay Area; a place you know and love. You could have gone to Microsoft in Seattle where your cousin lives. You could have gone to P&G and lived in an apartment that has a separate bedroom and a real kitchen. Instead you wanted something challenging, something that would stretch you. Something on the other side of the country from your entire family. What were you thinking?” Most of the plane trip was spent thinking these same thoughts. Even without sleeping the night before, I still only dozed for maybe 20 minutes. Serious fear.
And then the plane landed at JFK. I got off, texted Candice to let her know I had arrived, and headed to baggage claim (to claim the three very large and heavy bags that I checked in addition to the two I carried on). I only waited about two minutes at the curb before I saw Candice and Mark’s van coming around the corner. As soon as I saw them, I started to feel so much better. Here I was, moving to this HUGE city on the other side of the country…with one of my best friends to pick me up and make me feel like I belonged.
We drove to my apartment, with Candice and Mark pointing things out along the way. I figured out which keys opened which doors, got up to my apartment, and more of the anxiety started to leave. Then Sarah met us and we all went to dinner.
Sometime between being picked up at the airport and getting back to my apartment after dinner, ALL of the fear was gone. I know that might sound absolutely ridiculous, but it’s true. I remembered how much I love my little part of New York and how much I love all of the restaurants, and shops, and public transportation, and diversity, and nightlife. And I also remembered that, while my entire family is on the other side of the country, technology (phones, email, planes, etc), make it so they really aren’t that far away.
So, fear will come. I know that. I’m just glad that (for the most part) I don’t let the fear win. I can’t even begin to enumerate the number of opportunities and experiences I would have missed out on if I let fear win.