I am writing to you as if we are old friends because it’s much easier that way. An old friend knows your history, so you don’t get bogged down by all the backstory, and you can focus on the present. Not that there is anything wrong with reliving the past. We all have stories to tell and we should tell them often. A good dose of nostalgia is healthy every once in a while. But sometimes you just want to live in the now. Of course, all this will be history one day. I’ll look back and think how silly I was thinking I could start in the middle.
As you know, I live in New York City. I’ve been here for…nine months? Ten months. Wow, almost a year. The time has flown by. I definitely still feel green here. But I get the feeling it takes years to be a true “New Yorker.” I’ve been scraping by for a while now, but I think I’ve finally got my foot in the door. I hope that once I’m more stable financially I’ll be able to really take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Take more trips. See more sights. Order more food. But I also realize that may be something I just tell myself. Maybe that’s just my excuse not to branch out as much as I could. There are inexpensive things that I could be doing that I don’t. Like thrifting and eating at food trucks. Things I want to do, but are foreign to me. I didn’t grow up doing them so they are unfamiliar and as stupid as it sounds there is a certain level of anxiety surrounding those things. I’m familiar with garage sales and diners. And even though I may want to venture into a small no-name coffee shop, I will sooner go to a Starbucks because it is familiar. (But even then I will usually order something simple because the variety of drinks is daunting – talk about anxiety!) Am I missing out on opportunities because I am afraid to take risks? This, coming from the girl who came out as gay, then as pansexual, then as queer, and then as nothing. You may laugh Friend, but you do indeed have to come out as “nothing.” Not identifying as anything is not a concept most people are comfortable with. I am fearless in some situations, but timid in others, and the latter are usually very trivial. I suppose everyone experiences anxiety about things, but some of the things I worry about are laughable. Ordering food is a big one. Starting a new job is always tough. I always want to skip ahead to when I am done with training and am skilled at least to the point of competency if not proficiency. Actually, that’s how I felt when I moved here, but I doubt I will ever truly know this city. I have to constantly remind myself not to wish away any of my experiences, even if they are awkward adjustment periods because time has a tendency to run away from us.
Speaking of which, I’m starting a new job! It is a summer job teaching art classes once a week starting in May and summer camp three days a week starting in June. I’ll still be working at Barnes & Noble, so I feel like the summer is going to fly by and I’ll be starting my second fall in New York before I know it. Fall in New York always seemed so romantic to me — like that line from You’ve Got Mail about freshly sharpened pencils — but I feel like it was somewhat unremarkable last year. In fact, I can’t really remember much about it at all. I was definitely still getting settled here, so hopefully this year will be more memorable. I’m going to try and live each repeated experience better than the previous, or at least live it fuller.
Well Friend, it’s been lovely. Thanks for listening to my babbling. Or reading it, that is, assuming you made it this far! Take care and be well.