I never really considered myself a "small town" gal. I always pictured myself as more of a "big city" lady; trolling around some bright skyline looking for love in all the wrong places.
Sophisticated. Street smart. And with killer style to boot.
Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.
(That's me laughing audibly loud at myself from this busy coffee shop table)
Today marks my fourth official day in New York City for the first time. And while I would love to say I am the version of Carrie from Sex and the City that we all aspire to be, I am actually Tom Hanks from The Terminal.
Tom Hanks is the man.
I am perpetually confused and bumble around hoping to make sense of something or someone. Sometimes I'm not entirely sure if I'm even speaking English. My "Resting Confused Face" follows me around the subway as I get on and off of trains that only occasionally take me to my intended destination.
So I'm a smidge directionally challenged it turns out, but the Big Apple hasn't entirely chewed me up and spat me out just yet. With some time I think I could stumble gracefully into this place.
The first day was the hardest, hands down. As I exited the subway for the first time I started walking in the general direction of the swarm of humans also exiting the subway. I figured being a salmon wasn't the correct move so I went with the flow. I walked towards the metal turn-style to leave to the street.
Right as I was in the middle of the turn-style about to pass through the metal gate, a woman approached me from the other side. I was already almost through and she entered my turn-style.
We made direct eye contact.
Um, hi. Hello. I'm in this one.
I didn't say this out loud. But I thought about it. She continued to make eye contact with me as she kept coming at me at full speed.
Suddenly I thought I must have been going the wrong way. Surely I was doing it incorrectly.
I went into reverse and backed out of the turn-style as she continued like a freight train into my lane. I backed all the way out as she passed by me as if it was nothing, making uncomfortable eyes at me the entire time.
"Oh my goodness, how embarrassing," I thought. "I just went the wrong way in a turn-style."
Nope. No I didn't. They go both ways. She was just a busy New Yorker who couldn't be bothered to move out of the way.
She high-statused the small town fuck out of me.
Which is easy to do when you look like me: short, baby-faced, and with a permanent confused furrow in my brow. Worry lines, if you will.
I have always loved big cities. I have just never seen anything this big before. I mean New York City is enormous. People are on top of people here. If you hit the town at the right time you might just see more people then you ever even knew existed.
Where are all of these people going? What are they doing? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OF THEM.
These are the thoughts I have as I get on and off the subway each day. It makes me physically anxious. Am I supposed to look them all in the eye? Do I compliment each person I see on their outfits? Is it okay to ask someone how their day is going? I'm just at a loss as to what to do about all the humans I see on a daily basis here.
Not only have I battled with my human-related anxiety levels while here, but I have attempted to adapt quickly to the environment.
I do things in New York that I would never do back at home.
Subway too packed? Let's cram on in there.
Sketchy street deals? 99 cents for pizza AND a back massage? What a steal.
Don't Walk sign? Sure, let's walk.
My mother is most likely cringing at the thought of these things that I have just said, but I adapted this way to make it out alive. I mean don't get me wrong. There was plenty of overlap between Suburban Me and City Me.
A good day was getting lost five times instead of six. I think my count this morning is only two, so we're on a roll.
(knock on dirty wood table)
Well, back to the old grind as they say. I have approximately three minutes to inhale this fancy sandwich and trek the five blocks to my improv class. Which is plenty of time if you're a New Yorker.
Bye! Or as they say in New York,
(says nothing and proceeds to jog-walk past you in the turn-style.)