SLB in NYC

Sheesh. I haven’t written a blog in awhile. But I have a lot to say so it will make up for it. Never fear, 5-10 people who actually read this! There have been many changes I’ve made in the past six months so here they are nice and in a short, condensed list:

First order of business: I just dropped everything and moved my entire life to New York City. The big apple. The concrete jungle. I can’t believe that I’m here and functioning and actually doing things.

Second order of business/the reason I’m here: I was accepted into one of the most prestigious graduate programs in journalism at Columbia University. I still can’t believe that either.

nyc.jpg
Photo via Lens Blog – New York Times

I suppose you’re wondering why I wanted to do this. If you had asked me a year ago if I ever would have thought I’d be here, I would have laughed in your face. I had a picture, albeit a fuzzy one, of what I thought my life would be. This wasn’t it. But things happen. Priorities make themselves prominent.

This time last year I was trying to piece everything together. Even six months ago, I was trying to piece everything together. I couldn’t understand why things just weren’t working for me, and why I couldn’t put my all into my work the way I used to. Nothing was inspiring. Everything was dull. I felt myself become trapped in my head with everything I did.

I applied to Columbia as a joke. I was secretly hopeful, but I joked. I hardly even told anyone I applied. I was too afraid of having to then tell them why I didn’t get accepted.

“Well, what will you do if you do get in?” My roommate, Hannah, asked.

“No need to figure that out, because I won’t,” I answered with a laugh.

But I did. And I did have to figure it out. It wasn’t easy, they don’t talk about housing being terrible in NYC for nothing. But even being here is unsettling. Everything is loud and bright and jarring. People shove without looking and don’t say, “excuse me.” You get shouted at in fast food lines if you don’t speak quickly enough. Directions are confusing and things are much farther than they seem.

When I first got here Tuesday, I was a mess. I dropped my over-stuffed luggage in the street and nearly fell over with it. A police officer had to help me hail my first taxi. The driver could tell I was holding back tears, and told me things would get better.

I believe him.

As I walked through Columbia’s campus for the first time Thursday, I felt it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t catch my breath. Love hit me the same way that it did the first time I saw the Old Well at UNC. All my anxieties and insecurities melted away as I breathed in the skyline.

It will get better.

Once it hit me, a faint sense of belonging came with it. It was all there: the answers, the feelings, everything was back. And even though I’m mostly alone in this giant place (seriously in movies it looks like you can just get to anywhere in NYC in 20 minutes and I’m here telling you that is NOT THE CASE), there are little moments in which I feel at home.

It’s like my Uber driver the other night told me when I confessed I wasn’t from the city and was worried about acclimating, “I’m doing a fine job.”

Things will only get better, and I’ll only continue to grow. Here’s to life in the only place big enough to contain my dreams.

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