Im moving to a new city, by myself, as a young woman. It’s hard enough on its own, but the thought of leaving my mother back home, knowing she only has me to lean on, it’s just the cherry on top.
I’m not sure how the next few years will turn out, hell I don’t know how tomorrow will turn out, but I know I needed to get out of the city I’ve been born and raised in. The city where I’ve had a good life, a normal life. The city where I would get comfortable and end up like everyone else living there. I would go to school and have kids with somebody I never really loved. I would be a teacher or a nurse or something like that, and everything is fine. But that’s all it would ever be, fine.
I often get caught up in my own thoughts of, what if. Thoughts of my desires. Fantasies. Things that would never happen to me. But why couldn’t they happen to me? Because I said they wouldn’t? Because I convinced myself that they couldn’t? It’s all bullshit. Why do we convince ourselves that we can’t up and leave our home for an experience that may or my not fail. Im young, yes, but I’m young and have a whole life ahead of me that I get to make my own. So thats exactly what I’m doing, no more sitting around and moping about what ifs, I’m going out into the world and taking what’s mine.
The obnoxious sound of the seatbelt sign dings on, awakening me from yet another marathon inside my head. Following the ding is one of the flight attendants voice over the intercom.
“We are now starting to make our decent into New York City. As you can see the seatbelt sign is turned on, please make your way back to your seat if you haven’t already and keep your seatbelt on until the sign has been turned off. Thank you.”
New York City. Its a place I’ve always dreamed of, I know that’s cliche to say, its probably a place that everyone has dreamed of at one point or another, but if I was going to take a risk anywhere, its here. If I’m being honest I don’t have much of a plan. I saw an ad for a girl looking for a roommate in an overpriced, dingy apartment, so I know where i’ll be living, but that’s pretty much it. As for work, not a clue. I don’t have an education further than high school. I wasn’t sure what classes I wanted to take, so I never went, and although I do regret it a bit, I think if I would of gone to school, I would of felt stuck, in a sense, stuck in whatever career I convinced myself I would like, and stuck in that city that I so desperately wanted to escape. I’ve been working at a small pub since I graduated high school seven years ago, so I have a bit saved up for this move, but it won’t last long living in New York.
A few crowds and clusters of people trying to escape the airport and I finally made it out to breathe the crisp New York air. The air is cold but the sun is so warm. I notice how silly I probably look standing here with a giant smile on my face, eyes closed, breathing in the New York air, but I don’t care. One hopefully short car ride, then I’m home.
Naive of me to think it was going to be a short car ride. Eventually we pull up to a tall, aged, brick building. The quiet, but kind taxi driver hops out to the truck to help me unload my suitcase and I hand him the only cash I have on hand, enough for the ride plus tip, and soon enough he drives off into his next venture, and I’m left standing on a busy sidewalk, full of people scattering by, with places to be. Anna, my new roommate, said she would be home to welcome me in to the apartment. What did she say the buzzer was? 17 I think. I punch it in and hit the buzzer.
“Hello?” A loud, harsh voice screeches from the machine.
“Hi, yes this is Madelyn, I’m you’re new roommate.” I respond back, holding down the speaker button, trying to keep my face distant from the filthy machine. Moments later I hear a buzz that prompts me to open the door and up I go to apartment 617. The door is waiting open for me when I finally made it up the 6 flight of stairs. Anna, I presume, is holding it open with her foot while she quickly tucks her phone in her pocket. Although we have never met in person, we have texted and I do feel like I know her a bit. She is tall and slender with blonde, but not natural blonde, definitely dyed ashy blond hair. Her skin is fair, but her eyes are dark, along with her eyebrows which contrast against her skin. She is beautiful, she is intimidating.
“Hey” she says, ushering me to come in. She spoke in a calm, yet confident voice which eased my nerves, just a bit. “Im Anna, obviously.” She chuckles.
“Hey!” I respond, sounding a little more excited than I was trying to come off. I clear my throat a bit, trying to hide my nerves. She looks so laid back. So unbothered by a stranger coming to live with her. She gives me a run down on the building and little tour of the apartment. Two tiny bedrooms, one bathroom and a kitchen; a fridge, stove and sink standing side by side eachother.
“Im going to head out, I am meeting up with some friends. I will be back later tonight and we can get to know each other if you’d like?” She says handing me an extra key she had hidden in her hand.
“Yeah id like that. Thanks” I respond. “and thank you for you know, letting a stranger live in your home.” I say through my cheesy grin.
“We are living in New York, I don’t have much of a choice.” Anna answers, also with a smile. Soon enough the door closes and I’m left alone in my new home.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening unpacking a bit and applying to any and every job I could. Anna came home when the sun was starting to set and brought with her a bottle of cheap white wine to celebrate her new roommate. We stayed up late, with a little help from a wine buzz, chatting away and getting to know each other. I found out she moved here from San Fransisco 4 years ago. She had left behind her parents and two younger sisters. She came here to pursue her fashion career but hasn’t gotten very far. She works at a little boutique and makes minimum wage, but would never confess that to her strict, well off parents. She told me she loves her parents dearly, that they made sure to give her an amazing childhood, and made sure she was set up for success. They fought her tooth and nails when she moved to New York, said that she would be throwing away everything they built for her. They told her that there’s too many people who want to be something in New York, that she would be eaten alive. Anna was too proud, too stubborn to admit that they were right, so she tells a little white lie. She says she loves it here, even if she isn’t in the glamorous family home she once lived in. I respect Anna.