It’s been just over a month since I moved. One month and 2 days to be exact. It’s funny how when you change continents and countries, when you reshape your environment, you have the priceless luxury to redefine yourself as well. Be who you want to be.
When I was thinking about a word to describe the freedom tower in the city the other day, the only word I could think of was: unwavering. That’s how it feels to me. Unwavering in a city that is absolutely crazy, terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. That’s how I wish I could be in this city, in the midst of it all. But I am still finding my way, still building a new life. I am not even sure who I am right now, or who I’d want to be, how that I fit in or where I belong here. Daily life here still scares the crap out of me every day.
There are so many thoughts in my head but every time I try to write them down the paper comes out blank and I come up empty. Where have the word gone? They are in my head. Sometimes I want to shout them out afraid that I will crumble under the growing mess they make in my head. I have endless conversations with myself but they are in silence. When I try to speak, I choke.
The beauty of a language that is not your own is learning new words everyday. The beauty of this city is that it offers so much all day, every day. It’s like whirlwind, a tornado 24/7 that never sleeps, never rests. The beauty of NYU is that it has and endless amount of resources and an incredible network and that I am now part of it. That also means I can’t keep up with it all no matter how hard I try. I try to keep up with everything I want to read but it’s just too much. Textbooks, blogs, messages, letters, thoughts on the thought catalog, twitter. I can’t read it all. I also can’t experience it all – every thing, person and second this city throws at me – know it all, be brave all the time, understand all the words of this language that holds the most in the entire world. And I hate that. Because I want it all, be part of it all.
Yet, every day I learn. How to be a New Yorker, how to be alone again, how to deal with completely embarrassing myself in front of a stranger that maybe could have been a new friend and how to be okay with this. I should learn this, because I am sure this wasn’t the last time I made a fool out of myself.
So I learn, I read, I run, I try to quiet the screaming thoughts in my head and the bouncing of my monkey mind. I wander this city, work on projects, experience unexpected nights somewhere in the city and realize that this probably will never happen again and secretly wish it would, drink coffee, go to class, swim 100 laps on a weekly basis, spend time feeling the wind in my hair in Battery Park while watching the water, choke over words I try to write down and be blown away by how I feel like such a tiny drop in a giant ocean. I feel unnerved at times when all I want to feel is dauntless. At the same time, I feel elated too.
I guess the words I am trying to write down but miserably failing at are those that describe that feeling when your heart skips a beat and your breath stops and you feel like your insides are glued together cause you are absolutely petrified and bewildered for what is about to happen. That you are speechless and can’t seem to be able to utter a word yet your head is pounding and overflowing with thoughts. That you are paralyzed for a moment that seems to last an eternity. In plain English: I am freaking out. Big time. Not all the time, but sometimes. There are days on which life seems to be in snowball effect and I have more input than I could’ve ever imagined and then sometimes it just stops and I feel like I am spinning around in circles. How do I do this? Find a way to make all the grand ideas that I have in my head about how I wanted it to be come to life. How do I build my life?
I just have to take some deep breaths. Know that things will work out. After all, it’s only been two weeks since my sister left and I threw myself into my new life here. Only a week since my suitcases have been unpacked. Give it some time – the favorite word for one of the most impatient persons in the world. Lean into the chaos, let my new world unfold. It will. Life is funny that way; when something is meant to be, it keeps finding you. New York kept finding me. My life here will catch up.