Tag Archives: new york

to: me, from: me (init)

25 Sep

It’s late September and you’re sitting in the shambles of your bedroom; clothes are thrown everywhere, your bureau is covered with anything you couldn’t find a spot for. You need to pack but don’t know where to begin. In a little over a week, you’ll be moving. Not to another apartment in New York, but back home because you just can’t do it anymore. Your mental health has taken a major hit and you’re not accepting it. You weren’t expecting this to happen – especially so soon – but it’s happening and surprisingly, you’re actually okay with it.

Even though your life in New York only lasted a less than a year and a half, more has happened to help you grow than you could have ever anticipated. Your time there wasn’t long, but life seemed to happen in fast forward, squeezing in more life lessons, experiences, and realizations about your sense of self than you could have ever imagined. And it’s scary and sad and you’re not happy like you expected you would be, but you’re learning and growing and the experience was ultimately with it. You know you needed this. Part of it comes naturally from growing up – you went from 22 to 24 in New York. You went from early twenties to mid twenties. You don’t enjoy the same things you did a year ago and your priorities have changed almost completely. You’re a different person. But you know this isn’t just because you’re getting older and maturing. You know New York had a major hand in showing you what’s most important to you and that you can’t pretend to be anything or like anything for other people. You need to live for yourself.

I’ll start off with this, things you anticipated about New York, but had to actually experience to understand to what extent: everything smells bad and everything costs money – too much money. You’ll spend unfathomable amounts on cab rides from Manhattan or even just from one end of Brooklyn to the other, and the beer all costs too much, as do your groceries. Plus, you order food out way more than you should, and every time you hit “place order” on seamless, you can hear your bank account begin to whimper. Despite what people say about happy hour, searching for good deals around where you work in midtown is useless, you still spend too much money. Plus midtown is actually the center of hell all on its own and the fact that you are there five days a week makes you want to scream. Your rent is stupidly expensive for the area you live in. You live paycheck to paycheck and you accept it, but you know it won’t help you in the long run. It’s also too loud. Always too loud. There are literally sounds everywhere and it’s overwhelming. There are rats everywhere, mostly in the subway. And no matter how many rats you see in the subway, you will always still be startled by rats in the subway. You’ll have a mouse in your apartment. You and Lauren will name him Clarence, but he will never be welcome. You see him once soon after you move in but then not again for months. You think you imagined him, but he’s not imaginary – he’s just hiding out. Eventually disposing of him will be slightly scarring. And it will take 45 minutes. You just don’t want to deal with this.

You will drink too much at the beginning. Way too much. And your friends will tell you this and you will feel attacked at first, but you know they’re right. You consciously try to be better, and you have your slips, but you do get better with it. So there is that, you do yourself proud. But when you first move, for the first few months, you drink more consistently during the week than ever before, even in college. You still really miss college, despite how many years have gone by. And you will always miss studying abroad. You wanted to live back in a big city because London was so amazing. But New York isn’t London, not by a long shot, and the stupidity of your youth while you were abroad isn’t acceptable anymore. Your life was a dream then and you didn’t realize that living and working in New York would be so starkly different from visiting. When you visited for long weekends in the past, you didn’t want to leave. Now, you find yourself itching to go home for the first time.

You fell in love again. It’s unexpected, but it happened. And it terrified you because it happened fast, faster than ever in the past. But you embraced it as much as it scared you. He was good looking and had a beard and he let you pop his pimples and his favorite food is pizza, just like you. He felt like your dream man, but you knew there was a lot wrong that you were ignoring. You wanted this to work, so you didn’t tell him how often he hurt your feelings or how it bothered you that he thought of you so little and he thinks about himself too much, or that he really has no idea how to be in a relationship. You brush away all of the bad because you thought there was more good there and you loved him. You thought he loved you too, but you’re wrong because he tells you so. You have a sneaking suspicion that he was lying and just scared. You don’t think you misinterpreted the signs, things he said and did (that time he actually said the words “I love you” and apparently didn’t realize he said it), but he tells you otherwise. In the end that doesn’t matter – he doesn’t want to be with you. And your heart will be crushed and stay crushed for a while.

It confuses you, why you feel so terrible for the amount of time you do, but you come to realize it isn’t about him. Trust me, eventually you’re sadder about losing his friends and Thursday night trivia and the life you had built while in a relationship than you actually are about him. And it took you the summer, but you finally understand: you’re unhappy. Not just at the current moment in life, but fundamentally. You’re unhappy and you know that you’ve generally always been unhappy, at least for the last however many years. At this point you can’t even remember when the unhappiness first seeped in. You’ve just been searching too desperately for distractions and people to surround yourself with to even realize it. And surrounding yourself with people doesn’t work no matter how hard you try; you don’t have the support system you envisioned you would have when you moved to New York. The friends you’ve made already have other friends, they don’t need you the way you need them. You’re lonely and you acknowledge that and realize you don’t like it. Being lonely doesn’t suite you, never has. You can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but something clicks and everything changes and you completely understand the level of your unhappiness. And you finally acknowledge that New York is a part of it.

You’ve started to realize that while you used to dread the idea of moving home, you can’t understand why anymore. Home seems safe and what you need while your mental stability hangs in the balance. You’re drained mentally and emotionally and you need to fix that. Whereas before you thought Boston was too small, you’re now realizing that New York is too big. And while you’re not old, you feel too old and tired to be attracted to that anymore. While you were once excited about moving somewhere so expansive and so large, it’s too big for you eventually. You’re too lazy to want to go anywhere other than your apartment. You used to admire the subway system because it felt so unreliable in Boston, but you’ve even tired of the fact that to get anywhere, you have to travel a minimum of thirty minutes by train. You’re exhausted in every aspect of your life. You don’t have the thirst to travel and explore different parts of New York, to discover hidden gems and forgotten areas. That doesn’t excite you anymore. Nothing about New York excites you anymore. And that’s okay.

The thought of moving home excites you; of being with your family again and with friends you don’t see anymore. The idea of being at a distance from a city for a while, but knowing Boston is just at your fingertips if you need it. This all makes sense to you. A new environment but somewhere familiar to nurse you back to feeling like yourself again. This feels good and it feels right and that excites you. And that’s okay.

You never had plans for yourself and New York in the long run. You didn’t have a time frame. You just wanted to go. You weren’t ready to leave college and you weren’t ready to go home, you just needed to go somewhere else. Somewhere bigger and somewhere better where you thought your career opportunities would lie. But you didn’t have any concrete expectations. You didn’t expect to work an entry level position in finance in midtown. You didn’t expect how stressful it would be for no reason. You didn’t expect to dread going to work every single day. You didn’t expect how much this would weigh on you emotionally. You know people exist who love their jobs, and you long to be part of that club. You didn’t expect to cry at your desk almost every day for over two months. And you definitely didn’t expect to be 24 with almost absolutely no idea of what you want your career to be. New York was supposed to solve that problem, but instead you’re leaving with an even bigger sense of uncertainty. That scares you, but you know staying will only make it worse and make you unhappier. You can’t do that to yourself any longer.

You start losing the desire to write, and that, too, scares you. Writing was always your creative outlet, your way to allow your thoughts to take flight of their own. Part of the disconnect was distraction – going out a lot and being in a relationship got in the way of writing. A lot of it was from working all day and having no brain power to even consider sitting down and typing. But you know you need that outlet and that way to express yourself, even if no one reads it, and even taking the time to write out all these thoughts gives you a sense of control again. That feels good. All you wanted was to feel like yourself again, and this all feels like a step in the right direction to getting back to who you were.

But it wasn’t all sad in New York. You had plenty of good times: birthday celebrations, monthly book club meetings, free happy hours with friends from work. Even just the nights spent at your apartment watching dumb tv shows and movies and drinking wine. All of those are moments you’ll now cherish, and you needed those. You met some good people and had some great laughs. You went to some new and beautiful places and had some interesting experiences. You lived life while you could, but New York lost its appeal. The allure vanished and the thought of staying there makes you feel trapped and stuck. You want to get out before you resent the city. So many people end up in New York because it’s an escape from their former life, but it turns out that for you, New York was a way to get back home. You’re finally ready to be there, and you thank New York for that.

are there any songs about turning 24? does anyone even care?

1 Jul

It’s the eve of my 24th birthday and although my life is drastically different, it feels like I’m finding myself places I’ve been before. I’ve survived a year in New York, grown up, altered my lifestyle, met someone and fell in love and now I’m trying desperately to force myself out of it.

I thought I would go into my 24th year on this Earth as someone new, in a completely new circumstance, ready to grow into myself as a person. I’ve been at my job for a year and ready to move on, we’re in the works of moving into a new apartment, and I thought I had someone I loved by my side to get me through all the trying times.

I’ll never forget on “Sex and the City” that Carrie once said something along the lines of “New York women are always looking for either a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment”. I thought I was going to have at least two out of three set going into my mid-twenties, but it’s looking like I’m just another lost cause; I have a job, but want to move on, but have no idea anymore what I want to do with my life. I thought I was going into a long-standing relationship, but that was pulled out from beneath me and I’m left alone, yet again, like I’ve been so many times. Just me, my computer, and my broken heart. If I had a pick up truck or liked animals, I could write a country song. The apartment we’re looking to move into seems like a lost cause at this point, as we have no idea when we’re moving. It’ll happen eventually, but no one knows when.

Ultimately, I want to be happy. And in my last month of being 23, I went from being happy and almost completely content, to having all of my dreams in front of me dashed. I feel completely lost right now and don’t know what to do. And all I can do is wallow, which is the worst part.

I just felt I hadn’t written in so long, which is a real shame. I just can’t find the energy to write at all anymore, I’m usually busy or too tired from work. I guess I’ll have a lot more free time now, however, so I guess I’ll have that going for me. It’s just that I’m turning 24 in less than three hours and I don’t even know how I feel about it. I guess I mostly feel empty, and I wish there was something I could do to fix that. Right now though, it doesn’t look like there’s a solution in sight.

can never think of a title that’s just WRITE. get it? write not right. classic english major

26 Jan

It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve written in here. I wish I could say it’s for good reason, but in reality, it’s out of laziness. Sorry bout that, but there’s not much else I can do. But lest you think me some lazy cow, I should explain it’s because I work a 9-5 job now, which I had never done before, especially not when I began writing in this blog, and I didn’t understand what kind of a toll working those hours and then going to the gym would take on my tiredness. When I finally get home after a long day, all I want to do is eat dinner and pass out in front of the tv. I like to think I’m my mom now. If I was actually her, I’d be a much better person, but I’m not. I’m still fundamentally me, still cynical and an asshole, but I’ve come to terms with myself and accept it. Moving to New York has possibly made me less cynical since I’m not rotting away in the abyss that was my bedroom in Massachusetts, but being around more people for such a long period of time during the day hasn’t helped me like people more. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

But I want to make a point to write in here more. I’ve found that since starting my grown up job, I’ve been in need so much more of having a creative outlet. My life has become so routine and monotonous, it’s actually kind of bleak. I moved to New York to flex my creative muscles and do something with my writing, but I fell behind on that. Even the women’s blog I started writing for in June took a MAJOR and regretful backseat once I started my full time position. But I’m trying to make up for that and post when I can with whatever insightful dribble I can come up with. Look at me, using the word “dribble”. How droll of me. So pretentious and English now. But yeah, I really need to write. I have too much pent up EVERYTHING in my system. I need a way to let that out and write creatively and get my juices flowing.

So this is it. This is where I must be creative and just say whatever I want to say whenever I want to say it. I hate posts like this but I felt this would be a good way to get myself back into this. I wish I was less lazy and more motivated to actually keep up with my goals. Something in me wasn’t wired that way. I’m a robot, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more. Robot Alaina. That’s me. Always and forever. Signing out.

Oh also, it’s about one degree outside, so fingers crossed, if all things go well, this will be me by the end of the week:

Old faithful.

Old faithful.

Live long and prosper. Always remember me.

PS, don’t worry, I’m still insane. In case you thought a 9-5 grown up job would straighten out my mental instability, fear not. Still completely out of it.

Now stop bothering me, I’m continuing on my one-woman “Six Feet Under” marathon for the weekend. You’re disturbing me in my time of need.

flunkerton

30 Jul

So, as we’re all well aware, I was having slight mental problems earlier because I was too emotional about leaving my family in Maine. What I find interesting is that I thought it would take me a few days – one or two good days – back in the city before feeling back to myself and forgetting how upset I was coming back. However, the second I stepped off of the train and into Penn Station, I automatically felt back to myself and everything felt natural. Sure, I still wish I could have gotten the full week off (or at least one more day), but everything that was filling my mind earlier, all of the negativity and sadness, flew to the background and out of my head. I’m already back to normal, pretty much. I’m kind of overwhelmed by how quickly it happened, and I think I have to be grateful for that. Also, I see that as a good sign that New York is the right fit for me.

Funny how things happen, huh guyz?

thank goodness i bought welch’s fruit snacks before getting on the train

29 Jul

I’m really emotional right now, so forgive me for these posts. But there was a time during freshman year of college that I was miserable. First semester ended and I went home for Christmas and I had an amazing break. When I got back to school, I was tempted to transfer somewhere in Boston so I could be closer to my family again. I was looking into applications and asking for recommendations from old teachers; I was determined to transfer. I liked UMass Amherst a lot and really liked all of my new friends, but at that moment, nothing compared to what I left behind.

I spent the better part of a week searching for somewhere else to go to school. And then I had one really good weekend with all of the new people I’d met and they made me forget my sadness and how upset I was and determined to leave and go back to what I had before. After that, I never looked back and I could never be more grateful that I stayed at UMass.

That’s pretty much what’s happening to me right now. I’m not regretting my decision to move to New York, but I’m thinking about going to work tomorrow and seeing all of the new people I’ve met and doing the new work I’m assigned, and it’s not making me feel good. I keep comparing it to being with my family and the people who already know me so well. I’m not thinking about moving home, but I’m feeling a sense of anxiety.

But I have to remember that this will pass. It was my first time home since moving, it was an amazing trip, and it ended too soon. I need to remind myself that I was unhappy at home more often than not and that if I were to be there again, at least at this point in my life, I wouldn’t be happy. I just need a few days back in New York, seeing my friends, enjoying myself, to be okay again. This feeling will pass. And I have to remember that if I had left UMass, I would have never lived in London and met the people I met and had the incredible experiences I did. Because up until this moment, I’ve been nothing but happy in New York. And I know that I’ll be fine.

Sitting in silence really does terrible things to one’s mind. I still don’t have headphones and I decided to listen to my tv shows anyway, but iTunes only let’s you do that full screen. And I can’t be having “Friends” full screen right now.

i forgot headphones so i’m sitting in silence and it’s deafening

29 Jul

I’m on the Amtrak headed back to New York. I was just in Maine for the weekend, and I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness having to leave York Beach so soon. I was only there from Saturday til this afternoon, and it wasn’t enough. It’s never really enough. I’m used to going for the entire week, spending all the time in the world with my family and then heading back to Massachusetts. But this time, I didn’t have that option. I don’t care about not heading back to Massachusetts (I actually had to do that because I took the Amtrak out of Boston), but I hate the fact that I couldn’t stay the entire week. In all honesty, I usually want to strangle at least a few of my family members by the end of our week-long vacation. I usually want to strangle them about two days in. But this trip was so different. I’m not surrounded by my family at all times anymore, so I had an extra sense of excitement about seeing them. I’ve really genuinely missed all of them and didn’t even realize it because I’m so distracted in New York. Thank God I’m distracted in New York, really. This is the first time I’ve felt homesickness since moving and it’s not even really for home, it’s for our little vacation getaway (I just lied, I feel London-sickness on a consistent basis and it’s mentally draining).

I genuinely enjoyed being with everyone and joking around, hearing them all talk. I miss that. I’m sad right now. I’m sitting on the train and I want to cry because I had to leave them. I’m never the one who has to leave them. I’ve been the one who’s wanted to leave them a little earlier, but never did. Trust me, I’ve rushed out of York before. But I really hate that I had to this year.

I didn’t think I’d cry when I was leaving. I was wondering if it would feel weird going home after moving, like the first time it did once I came back for a weekend freshman year of college. But really, driving through Watertown felt exactly the same as it always has, nothing felt different. I felt like I lived there again. Because despite not having a bed at my house anymore, I’m more than used to sleeping on the couch. Being there felt natural. But I’ve never gone to York for such a short time when everyone else got to stay and enjoy themselves and then have the sense that I was not going to see them again for a month. That’s what’s hitting me hardest. So I ended up crying when I was hugging my mother goodbye and almost crying again several times. I thought it would be easier for me now, but I guess I was wrong. I know it’ll get easier. But I thought I’d be used to it from college and studying abroad. But here I am, two hours away from New York, wishing I was back at the beach.

Growing up sucks balls.

i almost named this “where is my mind?” but i hate doing things that are too relevant to what i’m actually talking about. it makes me feel corny and like a phony, and i really don’t like holden caulfield

22 Jul

What if I’ve been entirely too cynical my entire life and I’m only just noticing now how detrimental that has been to me in my development as a person? I’ve always been cynical, for as long as I can remember. I not only acted cynical, but I believed in cynicism. I actively pursued being cynical. Life is easier when you’re cynical. You don’t feel like you look like as much as a fool in the long run when you’re cynical. But what if that’s been holding me back? That’s actually not even a question, I know it’s true. I hide behind sarcasm and cynicism and I don’t know how to break out of it.

I don’t know if you actually feel a change in yourself when you change ages, but turning 23 has made me think about a lot, and I don’t really understand why. Birthdays are birthdays. It must be the mix of turning one year closer to 25 (and from there, one year closer to 30) and moving to a new place where I’m beginning a new job in a new environment and I only know a few people. I actually love that, though. I love that I only know a handful of people. I’m so used to being places where I’m surrounded by tons of people I know personally at all times. I’ve known since before I moved that I needed to be in a new place where I had to meet new people and I couldn’t stick to the crutch of my normal routine. I needed to be somewhere I could meet people outside of my comfort zone. Moving has really been a positive experience for me.

Something’s always missing, though; I always feel that way. It’s depressing, but it hasn’t been hitting me as hard lately as it would when I was back in Massachusetts. I thank whoever out there for that, there’s no need going around feeling depressed and upset, especially when you’re somewhere unfamiliar. I’ve been really happy in New York, but I still feel like I’m looking for something else, and it’s not coming to me.

The lives of my friends are changing, too, and I have to think about my cynicism and general approach to life. Maybe I should have more faith in other people, maybe I should trust people have good intentions and not assume the worst from everyone. I’m so unwilling to believe anyone as being genuine, I always think they have ulterior motives. Now that I’m an old maid, I realize that’s no way to go through life. That worked when I was 22, but I’m an independent grown up now. I need to start acting like it. And thinking like it.

I wonder what life would be like through the eyes of an optimist. So many of my friends are optimists and I scoff at them because I don’t think they’re being realistic, but they’re probably a lot happier in the long run. I assume that they’re in for greater disappointment when the things they plan for and hope for ultimately crash and burn, but why do I have to assume that everything is going to go wrong? I don’t understand how brains are wired and programmed. I didn’t do as well in AP Psych as I would have liked.

Every once in a while I just need to have these kind of posts. I’m so much in my head all the time, it helps to get the words and thoughts out there. I sound like a psycho and it’s okay because I am a psycho. I was just saying that I wish I was Bjork because people would accept me being insane, but sadly I was not born inside of a swan and then wore her body as a dress once I outgrew her belly.

Let’s just keep truckin’, society.