Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary to ME!

Since I’m usually looking for an excuse to drink, today I’m celebrating the anniversary of the trip that changed my life. Bitter and disillusioned from a summer in New York City that involved a 10,000-to-1 ratio of cranky restaurant customers to job interviews (seriously, it sucked), I flew down to Charlotte, NC to drink away my troubles see old friends and get a respite from the city. 

It was the best three days

I spent those seventy-two hours rocking on front porches, sailing on Lake Wylie, and washing it all down with $1 beers and fried pickles at night. (Much better than the $6 Bud Lights that ol’ New York has to offer. And fried pickles are a delicacy the northern US has yet to appreciate.) 

Mmmm...fried pickles. There are none in this picture because I ate them all. 

To top it all off, the guy I’d had a schoolgirl crush on for the past two summers was suddenly single and by my side. We spent every waking minute of those three days together, sitting on the lake’s edge at night, and were dating by the time he drove me to the airport on Friday.

I kid you not-this was the view from my NYC apartment
In Charlotte, I saw the chance to work to live instead of living to work. I wanted to drink sangria on porches and spend summers on the lake. I wanted to spend less than a $1,000 a month on rent.

A month and some change after my wheels touched down back in New York, I was looking at the city in the rearview mirror of my Craiglist-purchased Toyota and headed south. I had quit my job, sublet the room in my apartment, and packed every belonging into my little black Yaris. I never looked back.

(Naturally, I was offered a job as an art assistant at a teen magazine (not Seventeen) the week I was leaving. They wanted to pay me $10/hr. for forty hours a week. Which according to my precise calculations would pay my rent and leave me with about $200 for utilities, transportation, and everything else. Did I mention they were based in New Jersey? How about hell no. )

Just like people, dreams change too. By September I had a teaching job and was single once again. Eternally undecisive, I’ve never once doubted my choice to leave the city when I did.  Now summer has almost come and gone again. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve lived in Charlotte longer than I ever resided in New York. This year has been more than I could have ever hoped for.  For the first time, I have everything I need and (almost) everything that I want.

...and a year later
In the words of ol’ Frank Sinatra: “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” So I didn’t make it there. But that’s ok. Where I am is just fine. And it sure doesn’t smell like garbage.


Fabulously Awkward said...

Lovely. Finding a home is nothing short of wonderful, yes?

Paige said...

congrats on your "anniversary!" I hope I figure my life out like this because it sounds like pure bliss! xo

Mimi said...

Happy anniversary indeed!

Glad to hear you found your home sweet home :)


Holly said...

Just found your blog through your -hilarious- comment on my blog (I'm not joking, I read it like 3 times today when stuff decided to go all wrong again and laughed every. single. time.)

And now I love your blog.

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