A year and two months ago, I made a spontaneous decision to move from DC to NYC, my dream city. I’d been living in the northern Virginia/DC area for nearly a year and a half, and while I loved the friendships and work connections I’d established there, I felt really out of place in the hyper-political atmosphere. A California native, DC lacked the quirky culture and character I’d grown up around, and every time I rode the metro back to my Ballston (or Falls Church) apartment, I felt 60 years old. Certainly not 22. I desired the kind of excitement my dad experienced when he resided in Manhattan and Brooklyn in the 70s. Throughout my childhood, he talked nonstop about NYC, and I vowed at a young age to follow in his footsteps and eventually try to make it there myself.
So in fall 2011, I applied for a prestigious job in NYC, landed it, packed up my things, and headed northeast. A lot has happened since then. And by that, I mean I arrogantly waltzed into New York with a glamorous full-time job and am currently bouncing around as restless, wannabe MPDGs do. When I’m not scrambling to freelance and maintain my tiny space on the Internets as a blogger/commentator/journalist/ranter, I’m nannying for a wide-eyed 4-year-old who makes me cookies in his spare time (because I’m just that awesome, duh). At first, I thought one of the perks of babysitting was being able to ditch my ugly corporate clothes and wear jeans five days a week. But as I told my buddy Crystal, I’m getting a little burned out on the insane state of things, and I want my boring clothes back.
Needing to get away from dreary, perpetually chaotic NYC, I ventured down to DC this weekend.
The weather was warmer, everyone seemed happy to see me, and more people than I ever could have expected asked to hang out. That’s how life was when I lived in the DC area: I despised the slow, unreliable public transit system and the sterile atmosphere, but was never short on loyal friends once I got settled into my routine. They’re not just good friends either — they’re relatively stable folks who show up to work on time and know how to have fun afterward. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, everyone in NYC (including me, to an extent) is a disaster. That’s the draw though, and I do feel a greater sense of belonging among the free-spirited city dwellers here. I didn’t pursue art the way I do now while I was still living in DC, and that’s why I’m here today. Not having to drive or wait more than five minutes for a subway is also convenient. When I’m ready to go home at the end of the night, I want to be in my bed within fifteen minutes. When I was in DC, this simply wasn’t possible. Just look how long I had to wait for the metro at SEVEN P.M. ON A SATURDAY:
Though energizing and thrilling, NYC can bring you down if you’re not careful. I really needed to see my DC friends, as I know I can count on most of them for anything. It was also a reminder that I’m not as alone as I sometimes think. Sure I’m always around people in NYC, but many would agree it can feel isolating during the winter. My NYC friends are terrific, but I just happen to have a larger circle in DC. Who knows? Maybe I’ll move back in 2014. Crazier things have happened in my life.