when I was younger, I got a lot of shit for not having a driver’s license. I’d gotten as far as a permit, but never bothered with a license. it was a mix of a tramuatising huge left turn and knowing that I was going to live in NYC one day so it wasn’t going to matter anyway. I was born and raised in LA, so even though having a license is crucial to have, the public transportation system was still expansive and somewhat reliable. the point of this is not go on about whether or not I can drive, but knowing I was always going to live where I currently live. it’s a place that I was just always drawn to, not for the ~artist~ and ~actor~ reasons that most people do, I wanted something that was like LA but had seasons. literally, I wanted to experience all four seasons compared to the two with a dash of a third that LA has. I love LA though, don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud and blessed to have been able to grow up there and then be able to live somewhere equally as awesome. Sure, I miss my family and spending holidays on my own is pretty fucking depressing sometimes, but distance makes the heart fonder and I make do because this was my choice. I was told a year ago on, ironically, the fifth anniversary of my moving date that this is where I’m supposed to be. I’m still not entirely what that meant, but I just know that it made a whole lot of sense.
when I moved here six years ago, I honestly had a lot of odds against me. I had made a trip out to attend a dear friend’s birthday a week before my own, and on my return declared that I was going to move within the next month. it ended up being a month and a half, but that’s just getting technical. I didn’t have much savings because at the time most of my money was going toward a mortgage that no longer even applies, and I wasn’t making that much either. I wasn’t entirely happy with the store I was working at, but was thankful that I had the ability to transfer stores from across the country. it caused a rift in my then unhappy family situation because my leaving meant that things split between three would become split in two. it was straining, and the names that were exchanged weren’t very pleasant, but at the time it was something that I needed to do for myself. as much as I love my family, I was being held back and losing myself. i worked as much as I was able to up until the day before I flew out. I sold CDs, books, and DVDs for extra cash so I could make sure I could cover my last share of the mortgage on top of security and first month for my rented room, and at least train fare to work because I lived close enough to be able to walk home if needed. the night I left, I had to ask a friend to take me to the airport because my family refused to take me, I hugged my dog and grabbed my three bags (a backpack, a suitcase, and a laptop bag) and didn’t see my family for a year and a half.
I took a redeye so I could sleep and not notice the time change, except I could barely sleep, so once I landed, I very tiredly navigated my way from the airport to my new home. I didn’t come with any furniture, but was thankful my then neighbour was getting a new bed the next day so I snagged their futon mattress. I slept on two couch cushions my then roommate let me borrow for pillows. I had also went into my new store to make introductions and to see if I could start earlier than planned because I would rather jump in and start making money. for the first month or so, I lived very cheaply. I’m talking ramen, dollar store instant coffee, and cheap granola bars. my meals at work were microwaved ramen noodles with ketchup and cheese packets from the food counter for more flavour. when I went to a friend’s place to watch a movie and have dinner, I nearly cried at the fact I was eating real food because I was incredibly thankful and grateful. when you’re barely getting by and your main priority is having a roof over you head as your financial situation is sorting itself out from all the overtime possible, it’s the simple kindness that can brighten things just a bit.
but that was six years ago. I’ve in three boroughs since, finances are still a little tight, I’ve lost shitty friends but gained even better ones, I found the best version of my ever evolving self, and the greatest part of it all is that I’m still here.