Eleven months have sneaked past me, and I find myself reflecting on all the places I hold dear to my heart within this city. Below you will find my scattered thoughts and photos surrounding a few of my favorites places and things about NYC, including this word:
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
I don't think I've ever been more curious about people and what their lives are like as I have while living in New York. That word sonder is so appropriate it's scary. I love sitting on the subway looking at the people around me and wonder where they're going and who in their life loves them. Awareness is definitely something I've strengthened while living here, awareness of myself and others.
As much as I think I won't miss it, I'll never forget the combination of police sirens, coffee shop chatter, taxi cabs honking, and the sound of the subway. It's the little things that end up becoming the big things, and I know I'll miss them. I'm excited about my move to Los Angeles, but I'm totally allowed to start talking about what I'll miss from NY.
GASOLINE ALLEY COFFEE
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love coffee and that I frequent this place quite often. I switch from the F to the 6 train at Broadway-Lafayette, and since I have a monthly metro card, I don't mind swiping to get back on the train. Once I learned about this transfer, and perfect pit stop, it became part of my routine. One morning I remember very vividly: It was finally 60 degree weather, so I stopped to get some iced coffee and walked to work vs. getting back on the 6 train, listening to Superhumanoids new album. I was happy and it was simple. Here, I get to zone out and take a few moments to just hang out...with myself. I didn't do that very often while in school. It really helps me get out of my morning funk and into a happy mood once I've spent time on my own, taking my time to get ready for the day.
These days, I treat myself to the Dulce de Leche donut from Dough and a 12oz coffee. It's the perfect pairing. I really made this place mine. I know it belongs to others, but being a regular somewhere was something I really wanted to do, and I did it. It's pretty cool to be a regular, you get that satisfaction when you walk through the door and the person inside immediately recognizes you and what you're about to order. It's nice to be remembered.
THE MEATBALL SHOP
Every meal I've had here has been a memorable one. The food is always great, and the company is even better. My first time eating here was when I was visiting the city on a whim while I was still in school. I ate here with my current boyfriend, on our first date in the fall, who would later surprise me with the help of my closest friends. I also ate here with my mom every time she paid me a visit. It's just one of those places I'll miss but always be grateful for. I am a spontaneous person, but I do love consistency. I love having favorites and sticking to them, which is kind of ironic because my order at the Meatball Shop is never the same.
I could not have been more surprised that I ended up at Hillsong. I just kept going, and got involved, and within a few weeks I had new friends and immediately felt home. Who knew? Friends soon became family, and if I missed a Sunday or a Team Night someone would notice, and that felt good. (I didn't miss for that reason ha, but you catch my drift.) I was challenged to love extravagantly and to serve generously. My church has impacted me in tremendous ways, and my heart grows each week because of it and the amazing people who fuel it. It will be extremely hard to say goodbye to everyone who has touched my life at this church. I'm tearing up now just writing this, so God knows how emotional I'll be on my last Sunday. (He actually does lol.) He is doing BIG things in New York, and is using some pretty stellar people to the max. I'm blessed to be a part of this family, and I know when I visit, it'll be like coming home.
Saving VM for last, #justbecause. I moved to NYC without knowing a single soul, because VM believed in me and I knew God wanted me here. Almost 11 months later, I'm walking into work doing things I never expected to be doing. The opportunities and projects I've been able to take and work on amaze me daily. I love this family so much. Everyone really cares about each other, and they take time to invest in you personally and professionally. That means the world. My coworkers have surprised me in more ways than one and I will miss them terribly. From inside jokes, to GIFs, hashtags, random hallway hugs, and thoughtful emails, the humans of VaynerMedia are some of my favorite humans ever. I'm preparing for many G+ hangouts.
So from #VMNY I'll move on to #VMLA and pinky promise to send as much sunshine as possible over to my concrete jungle team. #VMfamlove
If you're still reading this, you can probably sense a common theme. At first, I was feeling a little scared and insecure about my life and my place here in NY. But that all changed, thanks to the people and places of NY who had a huge impact on me and making me feel at home. I became more aware of myself and others and I know that has helped me love and serve generously, more than ever before. I had faith that Jesus would make sure I felt welcomed and that I had a place here, and I know He will do the same in California. :)