The 1st time I went to New York City was in middle school with my family for a New Year's Eve trip. I remember running down a side street after a late night movie trying to find the dropping ball as people's screams and cheers led us to Time's Square. We were stopped by police and I never saw the glittery sphere, and my tears were those of pure joy as I felt the New York spirit running through me as I ran through it holding my older brother's hand.
The 2nd I was in New York was last year with my sewing teacher, the Doc. She takes sewing students every year for a week long trip of appointments with industry leaders and tons of fabric shopping (I brought home close to 50 yards). I was sick with a sinus infection the entire trip, ended up in the hospital for an afternoon, and missed my husband a lot as it was the 1st we were apart since our wedding a year before. It was one of the largest learning experiences in my life, and I've debated over and over again whether to go again this summer. Of course I can't afford it and of course I need to be responsible, but I can't stop thinking about the smell of the tiny fabric stores with piles of piles of pure cotton gold and luxurious silks all about 1/4 of the price anywhere else.
I believe it is safe to say that I am in love with New York City for the same reasons all people fall in love: the exciting pursuit of ideas, thoughts, people that could bring one success and complete joy and satisfaction. I feel I have a story about every single part of New York that I've been in: The Iranian woman in the fabric store defending Hillary Clinton's pant suits; The Kips Bay House that had endless artistic expression and the coldest tap water I've ever tasted; My haircut in the middle of Sachs Fifth Avenue with shoppers applauding my daring new chin-length bob when I was 15. So many reasons.
Today in my fashion history class a classmate was talking about her exciting job interview she had in NYC the past month for a position as a job designer-- EVEN though she doesn't have a design degree, and EVEN though she has no real design experience-- all just like me. My heart pitter pattered over the fact that if this girl had a chance in the fashion world in a top company, well then gosh darn it so did I. The entire class my mind traveled back to NYC as I dreamed of the life I could have if I ever applied for a design job....not just me, but Steve too...and future kids...going off to private school on the subway...designer duds...my designer duds.
Steve and I discussed the possibilities over our salad bar creations at Jason's Deli. Dreams meet reality. He would have to quit his job and move out there with no connections as a civil engineer. "But you could work on bridges! And New York is all roads ready to be designed. How could you not find a job?"
Apparently, it's not that easy. And neither is meeting reality.
Obviously, we could never move to New York even if I did get a design job and could cover the rent while Steve job hunted. He is the rational one. He thought of the worst case scenario: being in debt, me getting pregnant and having to quit my job, and him being jobless. "It would be a nightmare".
Nightmare? New York? The place where sinus infections feel like drinking the best tap water of your life? "You can't say it wouldn't be fun, at least. A real adventure for us to take on." I didn't understand why we needed to play it safe. We're young. Best time of our lives to move to New York and live the dream.
And yet, I knew my insistence of at least finding jobs there wasn't about meeting reality, it was about accepting the sacrifice I made when I tied the knot. Did i mention that my classmate was single? No?
I have a hard time accepting the role I am in now as a married woman with another person to think about in every decision that I make, knowing that if I weren't married, I could and I would leave at a moment's notice if I got a job at Betsy Johnson, and I wouldn't look back. Lying in bed, I told Steve about the sacrifice I made marrying him, and that I love him enough to give up my New York dreams, running through the streets...
"Just promise me we'll go to New York someday to visit. And that you'll love it just as much as I do, and it will be dream-like and unreal the fun we are having there. And you won't complain about how expensive it is."
"Of course". He knows my sacrifice, and is ready to sacrifice, too.