Current Tunes: New York, Ed Sheeran (seeing this beautiful gem of a musician play in Brooklyn tonight!)
Dirty. Hectic. Grungy. Fast.
I have been living here for a little over three months and while I feared the Big Apple would swallow this small farm town girl whole, I seem to have become one with it. I weirdly like the madness, the light pollution, and the straight up hustle (except for the smells…homegirl could live without the stench.) The other day, my friend asked me my favorite thing about living here. My mind quickly gravitated to the delicious eats I’ve been grubbing on. How a city can offer $20 cocktails and 99 cent pizza slices at the same time is beside me. I love that there are bodies of water on both sides of Manhattan making the skylines and rooftop views one in a million. The creative events and appreciation for art and music is also notable. But I think my favorite thing has been the subway shoes. Seriously, I have this weird addiction with staring at the feet of those around me on my morning commute. Granted I’ve always been a shoe addict but I do mean this in deeper way than my problem with dropping cash on a sweet pair of kicks. Other than their aesthetic appeal I like the idea of shoes being able to tell a person’s story. They can describe where they have been and where they think they might be going. And if they could talk what would they say?
There are so many walks of life all crammed together in these metal tubes on the daily just to be a part of this great metropolis. So climb into my world for a second and imagine this…
A few weeks ago I was commuting home after a long shift and saw this gal with impressive five inch platforms studded with spikes, which I may or may not have sneakily snapped on the left. I would bet money that she could not get those suckers past TSA at the airport. They were basically weapons. I imagined wearing them while trying to push my way through the the New York crowds during rush hour and I immediately became impressed with this lady’s ambition (…I also imagined my dad’s face if he caught me in public wearing something like that and I am certain he would have a cardiac arrest). In addition to the shoes, she had some strappy thigh garter contraption that I think would take me longer to figure out than it would to solve a Rubrik’s cube, a black velvet bustier, and short jean cutoffs exposing colorful tattoos that decorated her legs. But behind the distracting outfit, I know this girl has got a story. I’m sure of it. A few seats down there is a guy in a crisp gray suit and brown leather dress shoes that could make a girl swoon. Okay, so maybe I say that from experience. Oh goody, no sign of a ring. Score…well, not that I’d have the cojenes to actually say anything. But what’s his deal? And across from him is a young teen wearing bright red Air Jordans. His feet are flying in the air as he blasts music from a tiny boom box, doing tricks and flips on the middle subway pole. There’s an overturned baseball cap a few feet away in hopes of scoring some late night cash. And then there’s me, all sleepy like with bags under my eyes, in my black work Nikes that were purposefully chosen to hide any splashing bodily fluids that they may have crossed my path. Anyways, I’m sitting there mesmerized, taking this scene in and thinking to myself, “I live in FREAKING NEW YORK, NEW YORK!” With all these interesting humans! How can you ever be bored when you can be within earshot of four different languages at a restaurant? Or any type of cuisine in a 10 block radius? With free yoga classes on the waterfront and random bands playing in the numerous green parks across the city that break up the concrete jungle scene. What I am getting at is the diversity and variety found here is my favorite thing. God, you are one creative master and never in a million years did I think you’d place me here with this opportunity to live in one of the most iconic cities in the world. Yet here I am, blessed beyond anything that I deserve. Living amongst the beautiful chaos that is NYC.
So…I’m happy to announce that yes, I’m staying. California, don’t freak out yet. I just signed for another three months and will beat Santa home, pinky promise. I know I just ranted about how craze amaze it is here, but I do recognize that I think I like it more knowing it is temporary. I experience things differently when I am cognizant of their impermanence. This city is a blast but I think the razzle dazzle may fade as the need for a more convenient, inexpensive lifestyle would eventually be preferred. I actually think I prefer Boston over NYC if I decided to be an East Coaster for the long term. But overall the Pacific (and mi familia) still has my heart. In a perfect world, I’d live a stone’s throw from my sisters and get to be a nurse by day and a mermaid of Southern California by night (oh and have a lifetime supply of La Croix and Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter, of course). Now as I reflect over the fact that I have officially been out of California for almost a year and a half, I am really happy that I took the leap and came to see what all the fuss was about. And quite frankly, I’m a little proud of myself. It wasn’t easy. Or cheap for that matter. But if there’s anyone out there reading this wondering if the grass is greener some place else, I urge you to just go check. Yea you might show up and it’s all weeds or is actually fake lawn turf, but at least you can stop wondering. And guess what? Home will always be there. It really has made seeing my family that much sweeter each time I go back (click here to learn more about the house that built me in my favorite post to date). Which probably leads some of you to ask the burning question that my family has as well…after my travel nursing journey is complete, will I go back to the Central Valley of California? Well, that answer I do not have. I do have a few more international trips I’m hoping to tackle in 2018. And the goal to grab that master’s degree before age 30 is still looming over me. I really need to stop avoiding that. But for now I’m going to enjoy the rest of 2017 in my stupid expensive Lower East Side apartment and continue to eat as much pizza as possible. I also intend on enjoying the most beautiful season the East Coast has to offer. I am currently typing this in my favorite striped onesie pajamas and my #basic uggies because it’s fall, y’all!
Oh and lastly the only other news I have, other than my current addiction with continuing to chop my hair (about 15 inches down since I moved!), is my recent transition out of the Intensive Care Unit for this work extension. This was a big and kind of scary step for me because critical care is all I’ve known and I do love it dearly. Buuut I was feeling a little burnt out from inpatient care and when my recruiter gave me the opportunity to try outpatient nursing in a surgical clinic, I decided to try it out just for these three months. I still work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center but now I am a nurse for the Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgeons in the MSKCC outpatient setting. Hepatopancreatobiliary is a mouthful, I know. It basically covers cancers and disease of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas which again, is not my background. But I am learning a TON and have had my nose stuck in articles trying to soak it all up. Even though all the information has been overwhelming, my inner nerd has been doing a little happy dance the more knowledgable I become. My job basically consists of assisting the surgeons with post-op follow up appointments or being an integral part of the education portion for newly diagnosed patients and helping them understand the diagnostic procedures and surgeries that are a part of their cancer treatment (for my medical friends think ERCPs, Whipples, liver resections, etc…) I also have to wear professional clothing like a real lady human…whaaaa? Kind of a bummer but other than that, it is a nice change for now. Well, I promise to crank out some posts more often and break this writer’s block I have been having.
Until then, cheers and keep on wishin’!
P.S. Here’s a quick overview with some pics of the shenanigans I have been doing the last three months…spontaneous trip to Montauk in Long Island, multiple shows on and off Broadway (Chicago, Groundhog Day, The Great Comet, Sleep No More, Shakespeare in the Park’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), baseball games (when I’m a fake local I’m Mets>Yankees), a relay race in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY, getting lost in the different boroughs with new and old friends, and of course eats on eats on eats. Also, mega shoutout to the multiple visitors I have had. It’s been a pleasure :]
Exploring the city with new buds and visitors