Sometimes you get those moments in life where a sign is staring straight in your face and it makes you just stop. The moment stays with you, haunts you a bit, guides you.
One of these moments happened last week. I was hurrying through the Metropolitan Ave/Lorimer St subway in New York, when this mural caught my eye.
Image courtesy of katerw
It pretty much summed up my first week in New York.
Rewind to a week ago, Friday March 8th. I woke up to the sound of my phone receiving an email. An email saying my visa, which gave me permission to do an internship in Manhattan, was finally ready. Before I knew it I’d picked up the visa, was on the phone to Qantas and booking the first flight to New York, which was leaving THAT NIGHT. The day was a flurry of packing, buying Ugg boots for relatives (apparently they’re all the rage in the States) and saying goodbye to grandparents. My nonno took the opportunity to give me one last guilt trip, saying “ if God takes me while you are away, I’m ready”. Jesus Christ. Before I knew it I was on a 36-hour journey that challenged all my nervous systems. I even felt inspired to write a 500-word manifesto on the insanity of air travel sometime into my fortieth hour of being awake.
However, I knew it was all worth it the minute I stepped out into the freezing New York air. I’d made it. It was just like that Harry Nilsson song.
“Well here I am Lord knocking on your back door
Ain't it wonderful to be, where I've always wanted to be
For the first time I'll be free
here in New York City” It’s funny how quickly I felt at home in the city. I’d barely moved into my apartment in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn before it was my first day interning at Bust Magazine, in Manhattan. I thought I’d be freaking out but instead I felt, dare I say it, Zen. I decided to check out a vegan diner in my neighbourhood that morning to gear myself up for the big day. I caught myself in a surreal moment. Here I was in a Brooklyn diner, on my way to my first day at Bust, with Stevie Nicks playing on the diner stereo like some guardian angel watching over me. It was at this moment that I promised to myself I would never give up until this was my permanent life, not just a three-month stint in the best city in the world.
Which brings me back to the Faith/Fate mural. Though my first day was far from smooth, the situation felt so right. This was despite the fact that on my post-diner commute into work it started pissing down with rain and I got a piece of fluff from my jacket stuck in my eye, meaning I showed up at Bust soaking wet, with half my face scrunched up. When I walked into the office I was greeted with ‘uhh can I help you?’ Even when I introduced myself there was a full minute before recognition was achieved. Luckily I won everyone over with the Tim Tams I’d brought over from Australia.
Did it feel right because this was fate, meant to be? What was it that made me feel so at home in New York, a feeling at odds with the fact I am actually NOT ALLOWED to live here. That is unless I find a job and get sponsored for a visa in an economic climate where Americans themselves are struggling to be employed.
This is where faith kicks in. I want to stay here but don’t know how to make it happen. All I’ve got is the faith that if it’s meant to be things will work out.
Let’s see what this week brings…
Melissa Coci is a 26-year-old from Perth, Western Australia. Her latest accomplishments include getting her Italian passport and finally watching When Harry Met Sally. She is currently doing an editorial internship in New York so she no longer has to be a drug dealer (that’s a fancy way to say pharmacist). She's on Twitter @MelissaCociwebsite: http://www.melissacoci.com blog: http://melissacoci.wordpress.com/