When I moved to New York City, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be here. Even from a distance, it was Too Big. Too Loud. Too Bright. It felt mean and unwelcoming. When I had arrived in other cities, it had felt as though the city said,
“Welcome! Come have tea and wear your favorite sweater, and then I’ll show you around. I hope you like it here. I hope you stay a while.”
And there were lovely places to discover. Parks and coffee shops and cobblestone streets. Little wine bars tucked into corners. Ferris Wheels on the waterfront. Local chocolates, and pizza places that didn’t charge you per topping.
One of the first things that happened to us in New York was someone charging us for putting ice in Whiskey.
New York greeted me with side eye. With trepidation. With a need to know just how much I was willing to do/give up/become to live here. New York City said,
“I don’t need you. I have 8 million people. People who matter. Who tell important stories and know important people and make important deals. People who have been here longer than you, and who will be here after you leave like the very mountains you came from. Who are you, Mountain Bird, to try and land in this Big City?”
And it felt hard to find the coffee shops and the cobblestone streets and the parks and the quiet corners and the places that would make me to love it here. It’s been 18 months now, and I still get muddled if I come out of the subway on a corner that I don’t usually come out on. Suddenly, it’s like having passed through the wardrobe into Narnia and nothing is familiar. Not even the inevitably present lamppost.
But I’ve been to ballets at Lincoln Center and seen shows on Broadway. I’ve worked on plays and attended parties that made me wonder whose life I had wandered into. I’ve had work that has been simultaneously the most challenging, most rewarding, most fraught, and most provocative of my life. I’ve eaten amazing food (seriously, everyone said it would be one of the best things about living in New York City and they were right) and looked at the skyline or the lights of Times Square with awe and amazement. I’ve acclimated to being able to get or do pretty much anything at pretty much any time of day or night. And sometimes, when I don’t have anywhere to be, I just walk.
I walk between buildings that I have to crane my neck back to see the tops of. Buildings that are filled with lights that stand for families or lovers or mothers with babies or dogs waiting for their humans or people writing books or learning lines or praying or learning to cook or……..
And in those moments, its hard to believe I can feel so small and still feel so much. Surrounded by so much life and love and hustle and dreaming and falling and cracking and breaking and expanding and growing and……..
……..For a moment, I feel lighter. Happier. Welcomed. Buoyed up by the tangible dreams in the air, the whisperings of millions of hearts, the flutterings of new loves, or last breaths of fading dreams.
Why this blog?
Because there’s so much here. In New York City. In my heart. In my mind. Because I miss writing and sharing, and because I am bold enough to imagine that these musings through my lenses on this world might matter to someone else. I want to tell you about learning to be in New York, and also about how I miss Washington and Colorado. I want to tell you about how I feel about God on the days when I find him and the days when I can’t. I might write you a poem sometimes. Maybe sometime I’ll talk about my corner of show business. I might share joyful things like Books or art or food or movies or wine. Because I have a voice, and I was feeling small and quiet. Because I am a Little Bird in a Big City with a song to sing.
Thanks for joining me. ♥