My first year in New York
My mother kept school memoir books for each one of us. I remember being so jealous of how thick my older brother and sister’s books were in my elementary years. The book has a couple of pages dedicated for each grade, and a pocket to store report cards, certificates and a few school assignments. There was a space for your yearly school picture as well. Next to your picture you were able to (write in the book!) and answer a few prompted questions and sign your name, at the time it feels exciting to merely write inside of a book. When I look back through this book, you see the metamorphosis of your appearance, your handwriting, and the ever important line to fill in. “When I grow up, I want to be…”
It just dawned on me, sitting here at my desk, I always wrote that I wanted to be an artist (and then after I got my childhood dog, it changed to a veterinarian for many years, to inevitably make Coco live forever). Remembering this fills me to the brim. I knew at age 5, that being an artist, a creative, was something that I had to do. I remember my first artist’s apron, and can smell the brand new box of oil pastels. My fingertips can still feel the raised wax and the feeling of smudging the vibrant colors across the paper. I cherished my first spiral bound sketch pad like it was my most prized possession. I remember reading books like The Boxcar Children and can still smell the stews that they would make with wild potatoes and onion. Then I read Hatchet and felt the pull of adventure on my heart, and I became obsessed with the outdoors collecting survivor gear for years after.
I have been influenced and drawn to the arts my entire life. I don’t know why this feels like such a revelation to me this morning. It feels empowering. It makes me grateful to have parents that encouraged my bookwormery and live inside of my imagination while my brother tinkered with motorcycle parts and was completely logical thinker. My sister wanted to play house, and be a mother and chase boys.
Thinking about this makes me feel like maybe I didn’t stray from my heart at all. Most people call me dreamer, a wanderer, but I always have been. I wanted the whole world then, and I still do. I want all of it. I want to hear music, paint watercolors, write poetry, travel alone, and fall in love over and over. Maybe I’m an artist, after all. My inner child approve wholeheartedly with my path. For today, that’s enough for me.
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It’s official. I moved to Brooklyn, New York nine days ago to follow my dream of becoming a writer for a magazine.
In April of 2013, while reading my rejection letter to get into the MFA Writing program at Boise State, my heart started to race. And the thought, “you have to move to New York City,” popped into my head. I had never been to New York, but I listened to my intuition and made it happen. So here I am. I don’t have a job yet, but just being surrounded by the creative and talented people that walk these streets is inspiring and makes me want to try harder. What a place. I am sure this next year is going to be full of adventure, fear, anxiety, homesickness, loneliness, and so many thousands of emotions. But whatever happens. I’m going to grow. I’m going to be better, and I’m going to be constantly inspired by this magical place. Follow me on my journey as I try to figure this city out, one step at a time.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged adjusting to city life, Andrea Heap, Brooklyn, country girl in the big city, everything tastes better in New York, My first year in New York, New York, Trying to get hired, Wine Makes me Happy, Writer in Brooklyn.