There is a lot to be said about change, especially since too many people are resistant to it. Letting the universe shift even just a little means being shaken, unsteady and it takes a minute to regroup when the rumbling stops. Maybe it’s a bit unusual, but I am slightly addicted to this feeling, constantly looking to upset the routine, shake up the monotony, and carve out new patches of sky to marvel at.
As I sit in my apartment typing this, Spring is awakening all around New York City. Blooming flowers and clear skies bid a final farewell to winter (a time of year completely welcomed by most New Yorkers). Right now I’m holding on to every brisk sunny day for dear life, because I know that at any moment Mother Nature is going to turn up the thermostat and I’ll be melting on a train platform longing for my second shower of the day.
Not today though. Today I am at ease, bordering on emotional, about the circumstances in my life.
You’ll have to forgive me and my you can do anything you set your mind to optimism right now because I know if you’re not in the mood for it, it can be just annoying. But at the moment I’m feeling pretty unstoppable. I know that I’ve completely been neglecting my blog lately, and so I wanted to write a post sort of coming to my defense, because I do have a really good reason for it.
A pretty big thing happened to me recently and it’s been consuming every aspect of my life for the last few months. At the end of March, my boyfriend and I made a big move from our Crown Heights apartment in Brooklyn to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It’s surreal even typing that sentence out.
To understand the magnitude of this moment, I have to paint a picture of a very young Krystal. She was a girl who told everyone she knew and even the strangers she came across in her life that she would someday move to New York. She was the girl who watched movies and TV shows and fantasized about one day running in Central Park, spending days in museums and nights at the newest and hippest restaurants. She spent a good decade and a half of her life with this longing and the older she got the more it seemed like the dream would never actually become a reality.
I held onto this fantasy for a huge chunk of my life until I quite literally broke down. I spent days in my car on the 405 freeway crying, borderline hyperventilating on the phone with my best friend, feeling stuck. If you’ve ever felt completely trapped in your life and crazy with the monotony of it, you will know what I’m talking about. It finally reached a climax when I was 26 and I couldn’t avoid taking action anymore.
When I did finally make the big jump to try my luck in the city, it wasn’t exactly in the glamorous way I always dreamed it would be. While I found out that a certain part of New York is attainable to almost anyone who wishes to come here, there was a much bigger part that always seemed off limits to me. This city doesn’t just hand over the key to its most exclusive neighborhoods to anyone. So I did what most people trying to make it in the city do and I unpacked my belongings in the outer boroughs.
I loved the neighborhoods I called home in both Queens and Brooklyn and I will always advocate for them being amazing places to live. I promise I will never be a Manhattan snob. But it does feel like I have crossed a threshold that I didn’t ever think I would be able to cross.
Now it might sound like I’ve moved into a penthouse on Central Park West or something with the way I talk about my move to the Upper West Side, which isn’t the case. And although my new address is modest and I’m in no way living like a New York celebrity, I still feel like I’ve hit a milestone. A part of New York life that I never thought I would actually experience has unveiled itself to me. Believe me, I know how corny that sounds. Just like I know how corny it is that the first day I went running in Central Park I actually cried.
I have been waking up every day for the last month and a half to the chaos of a New York City morning, complete with car horns, dogs barking, and deep New York accents yelling about things I can’t make out. It’s all just passing noise that reminds me where I am, and maybe that sounds terrible to you but I’m absolutely in love with it. And I fall even deeper in love when I get to leave my apartment and walk a few blocks to stumble by the Natural History Museum or in minutes I’ll find myself strolling through Central Park.
While all this may be insignificant to some, it is quite literally my dream come true. For so much of my life this city defined who I was before I ever set foot here. Before I ever stared up at Times Square, threw my hand up to hail a cab, or maneuvered my way through the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District. My dream wasn’t to move here in order to become an actress or a big wig in the financial world or to fall in love with a Park Avenue prince. My dream is and always has been New York City.
I am actually giddy about the city I live in and I really hope the feeling never goes away.
Moving to the Upper West Side is just monumental for me because I finally feel like I’ve fulfilled a dream to its capacity. Sure there is always places for this dream to travel. I could set my sights on that Central Park West penthouse with the luxury doorman or a large trendy loft in SoHo, but right now what I have feels like just enough. For the first time in probably my entire life I’m insanely happy just to be where I am.
I’m not searching for a new destination or the next patch of sky to marvel at. I’m not telling everyone I come across about how much I would rather be anywhere but here. Instead I’m searching for ways to anchor down and explore this new New York for everything it has to offer. I’m enjoying Central Park more than I’ve ever been able to before. I’m walking to work instead of commuting for almost an hour on the subway. I’m getting out of my apartment more and enjoying New York City for the living, breathing entity that it is, and I’m even more excited about sharing everything I love about this city on my blog.
But most importantly I can’t stop thinking about how much I want to go back in time and tell the younger version of myself, the dreamer who kept her sights on New York City her entire life, the one I owe the entire crazy idea that I could do this to, that she’s actually going to make it happen.