For me, New York is such a city of contradictions. I just am not sure how I feel about it, even after all these years. Just when you think you know something about the city or you have mastered it in some way, you find out that you really don't know anything. I've been to New York at least ten times that I can remember, but I'm still not really an insider. Back in college, I naively sent my resume to Kate Spade, thinking I would go live in the city and live a glamorous life working in marketing. Do I even need to tell you how that turned out? Not-so-shockingly, Ms. Spade did not acknowledge my inquiry, and it was just as well... the city would have eaten me alive. So although I didn't end up with a high fashion career, I smile and praise God when I think of how many times he has brought me back to the city that so fascinated me even then. Brent and I got engaged in New York City. My teaching life changed forever when I began attending institutes at Teachers College in NYC. Right now, I'm living my lifelong dream of getting my masters from Columbia, and Brent is exploring job opportunities there. I just love how God has worked it all out for good and has been so kind to us by entwining our lives with NYC.
In the last 7 years, God has both softened my heart to the city, making me love it even more AND opened my eyes to the stark reality that is living there. Right now Brent is exploring internship opportunities and the sky is the limit. We could be, well..... anywhere!! Obviously there are lots of opportunities in NYC for him now and in the future, and we're trying to decide: Could we do it? Is this where the Lord would have us? It certainly would be fun and adventurous and after all we've been through with the city it would seem fitting that God would bring us full circle. But can we do it... really? Can we forget our big, luxurious, cheap housing in Texas? Can we someday lug a stroller onto the subway? Can we survive the winter? It kind of makes me shudder to think of it. See what I mean? There's a contradiction around every corner.
Here's a few:
- There is always something to explore, but you can NEVER, ever own the city or see it all.
- I love eating out and the restaurants are so fantastic, but how can anyone afford to live here and eat out? And how can regular people cook dinner in tiny little kitchens with daily stops to the grocery store? I'm spoiled by my big kitchen and SUV.
- I feel safer every time I'm in the city, but there is always a moment where I feel like an outsider sticking out like a sore thumb and everyone knows it and someone is going to mug me if I don't look like I know what I'm doing.
- There are so many people around that it can feel exhilarating, yet isolating at the same time. Full of life, yet impersonal.
- The subway can be charming, but I've been in there in the dead of summer. NOT FUN.
- I love walking. I really do. But my ankles, feet, and legs ache after a few days. This summer I would just eat whatever I had in my fridge to avoid walking to get something else.