One evening last week I found myself waiting on the familiar Downtown/Brooklyn platform for a F train to visit my old neighborhood of Park Slope. Every day for my first few months in NYC I would head home from there so I became familiar with the most efficient path to the station from work and the optimal car to get in on order to exit the subway at my preferred stairwell. In these first few months I struggled to find order in the chaos that is building a new life in such a whirlwind of a city and managing my commute was a small, discrete way for me to exert control in the midst of chaos.
It struck me as I was waiting that as intimately familiar with the Herald Square station I am equally unaccustomed to heading home to my new apartment from work. New train, new station, and I never had a chance to learn it as my life has evolved such from that time that it is an oddity for me to head straight back to my apartment after work.
When I first started toying with the idea of moving to New York, it was to get out of a rut that affected so many aspects of my life. I was doing myself a disservice those first few months when I hibernated in my crappy apartment, cooking dinner and gchatting with my friends from college. I suppose there is an allowance to adjust for the shock of uprooting your life, but it took a while for me to let go of everything that was holding me back from embracing my new city. Weeknight evenings are now full of happy hours, classes, meeting new friends for coffee, soccer games, dates, and so much more. I can’t say with any certainty what my life would be like now if I hadn’t followed my crazy dream and moved to the big city, but my guess is that it would be dull in comparison to the new ventures I’ve found here in New York.
The change of scenery has been good for me.