Last night, I met up with a group of girlfriends – the most wonderful ladies on the planet – for dinner, and then we made our way to the most beautiful church in Chelsea (I assume – it’s the only one I’ve had the pleasure of visiting) for our church’s worship night. To cut to the chase, I was an emotional wreck throughout most of the evening and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Most of those tears were of joy and gratitude for the life I’ve built here.
One year ago today, I boarded a one-way flight to New York City with exactly two suitcases and one contact (my now-roommate) already in the Big Apple. I wrangled my bags out of the airport and into a (very expensive) cab, and as we made our way through New Jersey, then downtown Manhattan, and finally into Brooklyn, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was on the verge of something incredible. It was the calmest I had felt in a long time.
That night was a lonely one, collecting keys to my sublet and unpacking my bags and watching the Brooklyn Nine-Nine finale in bed. (It’s weird the details the brain chooses to remember, isn’t it?) But it was a beginning. Of what, I didn’t yet know, but I had a feeling it’d be good.
Over the past 365 days, I have found an apartment in Brooklyn that feels like home. I have hated on the G train with the best of them. I have made such intelligent choices as going to a Saturday Night Live taping when I had work the next morning, or driving ten hours each way just to spend 36 hours in Toronto. (To be clear, I’d do either one of those again in a heartbeat). I’ve prepared for what was supposed to be the worst snowstorm NYC would ever see, and turned out to be a mild flurry. I’ve walked so much I can’t believe my old-lady knees haven’t stopped functioning. I’ve found a favorite coffee shop, a favorite brunch place with bottomless mimosas. I’ve joined a church, and I’ve made absolutely the best friends I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Basically, in the past 12 months, I have felt more alive than ever before. I have simply felt more. And last night was a culmination of that. A night that marked the end of my first year “making it” in a city where so many people say it’s impossible. A night I can always point to and say “see, I did it,” even if it all falls apart tomorrow. I’m not new here anymore. So in a way, yesterday was an ending.
But it was also only the beginning. As always, the best is yet to come.
Happy anniversary, New York!