I’m unusually calm. I thought there would be tears, anxiety, the fear of regret, but the truth is I’m not feeling anything right now on my third-full Virgin Atlantic flight (extra room is sweeeeet). Moving to NYC has been a part of my plans for as long as I can remember but I always imagined it being much more nerve-wrecking. Of course there were tears saying goodbye to the rents and my granny (seeing your granny cry is heartbreaking itself) but nothing is phasing me right now. Other than the fact I’ll be close to passing out when I get there because I wore as much clothes as I possibly could, as you do! My bag was still overweight but shout out to the SOUND lady at Aer Lingus <3.
Is it a massive move though? Everyone makes a big deal about young people emigrating but a year goes so so fast and it’s not really emigrating if it’s not indefinite. This makes me feel better of course. I suppose I’m lucky that I have somewhere to go when I get there and friends following me over in a couple of months but right now it feels very much like going alone. I can imagine it would feel like this for anyone, no matter how many people you’re surrounded by. Right now, I’m surrounded by strangers which a lot of people say makes you feel more lonely but I’m just sitting here with my Sauvignon Blanc (do I enjoy wine now?) wondering why everyone else is here. Everyone has a different story and I’m sure half of them haven’t seen their families in a long time- longer than I’ll be without mine.
The 3 major stress bombs will set off once I arrive and I can feel that coming..
Funds. Do you ever bring enough? Does everyone else panic as much as I do that you’ll run out sooner than you hoped, before you get a chance to cover next months rent? Dear God the cost of living in New York is steep, how do I afford fresh food? I think everyone I’ve discussed NY with has said “no fruit and veg over there now you’ll be paying out your ear for a few bananas”. What? No Lidl over there I guess. Rent, food, travel- this is just what you have to pay to live in NYC and I’m actually fine with that. Sometimes you have to just think about why you’re going and WHERE you’re going. I’ll always be entertained and everyone is in it together. How many people live in NY on the same wage and are getting by just fine.
Accommodation. So, I’m staying with a great friend when I get there and she’s such an amazing person to have over there because she knows how much I’m a home bird. But I can’t stay too long, everyone needs their space. Where do I go? I always imagined myself being in NYC living in a cosy little apartment with roommates that soon became long-term friends. I refresh and refresh the Facebook group Gypsy Housing NYC and all sorts of websites but “3 quiet roommates that like to keep to themselves” or “one 47 year-old male” isn’t what I had in mind (no offence to any 47 year-old man, it’s just not what I’m looking for right now). I’m going brush this one off with the good old Irish ‘it’ll be grand’ and ‘it’ll sort itself out’.
Werk. I need an internship in media in NYC for a graduate, 12 months long and paid. You’d think it would be easier for a graduate but the majority require you to be in college, to receive college credit and are only for one term. I realise now I’m sounding very negative so I’ll change my tune. Although the initial search was very daunting and disheartening, I managed to lock down an internship in Union Square- perfect! For anyone moving over and searching for jobs ahead of time, it’s not easy but if you stick with it everyday and just keep applying, somethings gotta give. I have to admit though, it’s much easier when you already have an American address and an American mobile number. Employers don’t like complication, that’s obvious.
Side note- is it weird that I enjoy turbulence? It feels like you’re in one of those simulators at DisneyLand. No? Just me?
I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset on the journey. A friend of mine who has plenty of experience moving abroad said that once the tears stop, they stop. You’re okay. However, it’s me and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m a big baby. I knew that if I started crying on the way over, it would set the tone for my first week. It would have been very easy for me to think sad thoughts on the way over but I managed to distract myself. Btw Finding Dory isn’t in the movies section yet UGH. Flying is just like being on the JJ Kavanagh to Dublin, just a little longer. The time flies (huh huh) when you have meals and entertainment to break it up and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is doing just that.
Fast forward a few hours and I’m at Róisín’s, waiting for everyone to come home (she’s flying back from Mexico today). Do you ever get that feeling when you go somewhere that you’re not really there? Like you’re in this strange place and you feel so overwhelmed that you’re hoping you’ll wake up back in your sitting room with your parents watching Eastenders? Again, probably just me. I’m trying desperately to contact any of my friends just to say hi, to tell them I’ve arrived safe, but it’s just a distraction from realising that I’M HERE, at last. It’s actually starting to scare me now. I miss my cat.
It’s probably time I catch some sleep and stop trying to figure out what it is I’m feeling right now. It’s been a long day and a journey I’ll never forget. I really hope this helps anyone thinking of taking the leap and myself too when I’m feeling homesick. I can read back, remember why I came and that FaceTime is only a click away.