New York State of Mind

March 24, 2008 2 Comments »


Vertical New York City

Vertical New York City

Sometimes the hardest battles fought are the ones in your head. After three months of being in the US trying to figure out how to carve out a new existence for myself…I feel like I’m starting to lose the battle. New York is a hard place – and even more so when you don’t have money and choose not to have a job. I use the word choose deliberately because I know it is my choice to not go back to the corporate world behind a desk. So please don’t think that this post is a ‘poor me’ post where I blame everyone else for my hardships. I am no idiot – I know what I’m doing and the baggage my choices have brought with it. It’s just that I don’t have many outlets these days to get all of this doubt/insecurity/confusion out of my head and away from me – so I use this medium – writing – to do that. I”ve journaled all of my adult life – it’s my coping mechanism – yet a bit different when all the world can see. But what the hell – here goes…

Sometimes I think the most difficult thing I face is not really having an identity any longer. That was ok and acceptable while I was traveling on the road – however back here – in the city that oozes identity – I feel completely lost without one. This has come to a head recently for a few reasons I think. First – I have been here for close to 4 months now…a long, daunting time to be simply ‘hanging out’. Daunting because I’m not normally someone who simply does nothing. Quite the contrary – I am someone that always has a plan. Second – when I finished my ESL certification, the obvious next step was figuring out my next steps. How long would I stay in NYC, where would I look for a job, when would I look for a job…the list goes on. When I looked up from my grammar book after a month of intense courses, I realized that I didn’t really have a plan. I knew that I enjoyed teaching and was thrilled at this direction, however I didn’t really know what to do next. Everyone was starting to ask me what my plan was now since I had finished the certification. My classmates all had a plan. I just panicked inside not knowing what my plan was. My plan could be so many things – and that was overwhelming to me.

Fire escapeI honestly can’t believe that 4 months have passed by in NYC. I’m sickened by how fast time seems to go and how I can never seem to get ahead of it – which makes me wonder why I keep trying to get ahead of it? I had many plans for when I came back, and I thought that they would all fall quickly into place since I wasn’t working and would have lots of free time on my hands. Yet 4 months later I’m still working on moving my website and my photography exhibition/portfolio.

My friend Miles told me last week that I was the busiest person he knew without a job. I laughed – but it’s true. I am working on about 5 different ‘personal projects’ at once and not making a dime at any…which can be a difficult thing to accept. On top of that – it’s tax season which has kept me busy swimming in dollar signs and confusion eating up my time.

Car parking New York CityI’ve reached that weird point again where when I think about leaving to go teach abroad, it’s intimidating to me. I’ve reached that point where the though of leaving all of my stuff behind again makes me feel uneasy. I’ve reached the point where the idea of roughing it again seems daunting. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen – I didn’t want to get comfortable again…shit. Granted – this comfortableness is not what I want – and I won’t let it win out. It’s just that I know that it will be a hard mental hurdle to get over again. It honestly gives me quite push to get out of here again. I feel like every day I’m here I’m losing the person I was when I was traveling. Honestly – I liked that person much better – so I’m ready to have her back.

Ideas are starting to form; I’m trying to put things in motion. Yet more than anything I just want time to slow down a bit. I want time to get the items in order that I intended – and THEN I want to leave. Yet maybe I’m chasing something that really won’t happen. I mean – are we ever really as prepared as we’d like to be for our next steps?

Someone told me today to have hope. So – I will try that on for size….hope…hope that it all works out and that I find some answers. Hope that I will know the right time to leave here before it drives me completely insane and broke. Hope that I can not become too comfortable. Hope that I can hold it together and cry less. Hope.

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