As we fought our hangovers with Bloody Mary’s at the MoMA cafe, Aly and I were fighting not only the day-after effects of too much booze and not enough sleep but also the consequences of moving to New York City. Aly, my favorite Santa Cruz hippie and my college roommate, and I were both California girls and recent NYC transplants. Our energy was zapped by the city’s hustle, our optimism slacking with each new challenge. We dreamt of sandy beaches, yoga retreats, snowboarding in T-shirts. We had one of those endless brunches where you talk about everything and every fear, every tug of regret is validated because someone shares it.
To be honest, I had been questioning my decision to move to New York City almost since the moment I arrived. I like things to run on my timeline, and New York City was stubbornly resisting my desire for things to perfectly fall together, now. I went on interview after interview, coffee date after coffee date, all in the hunt for a career I wasn’t even sure I was ready for. I spent a lot of time on the subway, disgusted by the trash and the smog, and wondered why I had traded in my glorious life of a beach bum for a big risk in the big city.
My friends and family were remarkably patient, eternally trusting that I would figure things out. I wasn’t so sure. Maybe I wouldn’t make it in New York City. Maybe I’d beg off to the other corner of the globe, and lick my rejection wounds along with a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lime and a shot of tequila. I wrote a postcard to a friend after he withstood another one of my sobfests, thanking him for “having more confidence in me than I have in myself.”
But sometimes you get a nudge from the universe just when you need it. My nudge was this incredible eBook from the most gorgeous, giving soul I’ve ever encountered (her blog is a constant, beautiful source of smiles). It was a very literal reminder to stop being so hard on myself, to invest in myself, to actively visualize and pursue exactly what I wanted and to RUN MY OWN RACE.
So I did. I thanked myself for being willing to take a risk, and understood that maybe, the risk itself would be the payoff. I joined the MoMA, and took a break from writing cover letters to be inspired by art and sunshine in the museum courtyard. I wrote down exactly what I wanted in a job and an apartment. I started taking a moment to breathe before I rolled over and checked my iPhone in the morning. I accepted that I didn’t want the long hours (and subsequent big paycheck) of many of my other friends in the city, and that everyone was too busy with their own race to notice if I wasn’t running quite as fast as I wanted to.
And things fell together. Perfectly, in fact. I found a place in Williamsburg, a room with natural light, an exposed brick wall, a huge closet to fill and a chance to buy new furniture. I accepted a job offer at a company that sells beautiful and functional things, products that are so gorgeous I’d pitch them even if I wasn’t getting paid for it. A job that allows me to do what I love and what I’m good at, a manager with whom I’d want to go out to dinner.
The best part? I don’t start until October 1. So in case you had any qualms about me moving to New York City and ceasing to travel (and booking ridiculous trips on a whim), you couldn’t be more wrong. I leave this afternoon to squeeze in a trip of sailing in the sunshine, a last hoorah to get a base tan before I succumb to pea coats and ankle boots. I’ll be spending the next 12 days in Panama City, the San Blas Islands, Cartagena: a chance to set foot on a new continent and catch up with an old friend.
It’s also an attempt at an honest-to-God vacation. I won’t be traveling with my laptop (for the first time since I launched C’est Christine in 2010). I’m also going carry-on only for the first time pretty much ever: no makeup and no jewelry, just bikinis and flip-flops. Posts are scheduled, I’ll occasionally be checking in on Facebook and Twitter, but until October: I’ll be practicing my Spanish, and living my favorite life of sand and saltwater. Hasta la vista, baby!
*If you need a spark of inspiration on how to create your best life, seriously, read More Magic, All The Time. It’s a quick read, but such an incredible boost of all the right energy!