About two months ago, I packed my bags, said goodbye to my closest friends, family members and loved ones, and moved by myself across the country. My last month in sunny California was a whirlwind of goodbyes, making it even harder to leave.
Everyone has been asking me how it’s been… and let’s get right to it. The awkward adjustment, the season of transition, being in grad school in a completely different university system; it hasn’t been easy. (What I mean to say: the struggle is real.) There are times where I feel deeply lonely, where I’m really stressed with work, where I get scared and left thinking, why the heck am I even here? Most of all, why is this so HARD? I just moved to New York freakin’ City. Isn’t this supposed to be everything I’ve wanted, worked for and more?!
I’ll say without going into too much detail, different things have happened since moving that made me want to hop on the next plane back to LA. (Being in journalism school is, at times, one of them.) My anxieties, fear of failure, and most of all, missing everyone back home are also huge. Have you ever left home suddenly? It feels like that… like starting over. Trudging through small talk and making new friends. Living and adjusting to a new pace, an uneasy discomfort.
They say “life happens at the end of your comfort zone.” And then there are tangible moments.
Sometimes it’s the bigger, louder ones: an NYC sunset, best viewed from a Queens-bound subway. A walk home through my lively, diverse neighborhood. Hearing soft echoes under the arches at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park. Discovering vibrant neighborhoods, one hipster coffee shop or bookstore at a time. Or a night out on a rooftop bar, with new friends from around the world.
Other times, it’s the quieter moments: deep talks with good friends, overlooking the skyline. Tipping lunch leftovers or a dollar to a homeless man on the subway. Helping a humble church community out in the South Bronx in their weekly food pantry (and Hurricane Maria relief drive). Stumbling upon a gorgeous, 19th-century church in the middle of Manhattan. Or finding an opportunity for adoration & confession, almost by happy accident. And meeting Jesus there.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth, as it is in Heaven.
I’ve been praying the Lord’s Prayer with more intention lately, especially this part. We usually speed through all these traditional prayers without stopping to digest what we’re actually saying. To me, Your will be done, it’s the art of surrender. Not what I want, but what He wills.
New York City isn’t Heaven, and neither is Los Angeles (or my hometown near it). NYC has its own quirky pace, much different from California… sometimes people are shady, but mostly inherently good. It’s loud and colorful here, and you won’t ever see the same thing twice. As with any metropolis, there is so much to see, do, explore here, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. (So. many. MUSEUMS! and COFFEE SHOPS!)
But above all, it’s His will, not mine, to be done on planet Earth before I get to Heaven. Only faith will help me step out into the discomfort, the war zones (aka. the newsroom), and be at peace. I am not alone or giving up; not when I’ve got a mission to do.
I might at times feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frightened, or lonely — in a big city, sometimes I feel all of those things at once. But big or small, it’s those moments of beauty in the chaos that remind me, there is life here. And still so many stories to tell.
On to the next page.