Wednesday, September 28, 2011


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I went to a seminar on "Financial Freedom for Women" that was hosted by my cousin last night - it was an educational seminar on the importance of life insurance, hosted by the employees of New York Life. To be honest, I missed the presentation itself as I was volunteered to play the New York Life version of the game of "Life" - which was actually quite a hoot for this newbie who had never before played the game of "Life."  I had a truly wonderful time playing with 3 other women of obvious career strength, and delightful fashion taste, living their own New York lives, in varying levels of independence and couple-dom, and I mulled over a debate that I had been having with myself earlier that afternoon. Namely, I pondered whether or not to stay in Manhattan.

To be sure, the monetary struggles that bashed me over the head recently have been forefront in my mind - even as I've give myself a (strict) budget to get myself back on my feet and into the black, as they say. The impetus for the debate more strongly came from a good friend in California - with whom I first stayed upon moving to Manhattan as she was finishing up her final year in law school - who had received an offer of employment in San Francisco. "Now you have to start looking too!" was the secondary statement crowed. And I was almost immediately smitten with the thought. San Francisco. The city I almost moved to before New York won out. The city wherein my sister resides, wherein a multitude of my friends live and work, the (much) smaller "big city" in the same state as my family, from which weekend trips to visit those down south could easily be arranged.

Top this off with the voicemail my phone finally alerted me to as I headed to this financial seminar, from a former colleague advising me that her company - based in the Bay Area - was hiring those in my field. And with all these pieces falling into place, it almost seemed fated. Apply to a job you almost surely will get, or at the very least, be seriously considered for. Have the chance to get my foot in that door job-wise - without the year-long struggle of applying and hearing nothing as happened with my New York applications - in the fabulous city that would put me closer to family, closer to friends, closer to the place where I do eventually see myself ending up.


But is now eventually?

I went through severe bouts of homesickness in the past month or so. Severe to the point that had these messages promising a life in San Francisco come to me then, I almost undoubtedly would be writing this post from the City by the Bay right now. But they did not come then.

And I made no moves to make them happen.

They're coming now. Of their own accord. Without my reaching out, without my hunting or looking or applying. When the wave of nearly debilitating homesickness has passed, when I'm getting back on my feet, when I'm solidifying family relationships here in this city, when I'm welcoming transplanting friends here to this city. This city that I chose a year ago. This city that I'm making my way in, however, awkwardly and haltingly, with scrapes and falls and doubts and uncertainty. I don't know if I'm ready to leave yet. After the last night spent with strong, independent, welcoming women, learning about how to take care of ourselves financially (however geared toward selling a product....) in a city where - statistics and experiences earnestly seem to prove - single life wins out in frequency and longevity over committed coupledom. Can I leave this city that truly exists only for me, now, as a single twenty-something woman? Can I leave the life that I've created in the last 12 months from the ground up in this gritty, make-you-or-break-you city? I don't know if I can.

I think it's too soon. I think I would feel like I hadn't given myself enough time. I think when it's time for me to leave New York, I'll know. I think I need to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can't remain in Gotham anymore, before I go. New York and I need to eat each other up and spit each other out, and I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, give New York a good, sturdy handshake, and walk tall and proud away from it, perfectly content to not look back.

And right now, I would still be looking back.

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