Have you ever done big things? Things you could never imagine you would do? Well, it just so happens I had one of those experiences. Sometimes when I’m down, I start to wonder if I will ever have anything to show for my life, and then I remember I have done big scary things. I have actually had quite a few of those as examples. Let’s start off with the move to NY. Now When I say NY I mean Long Island. Living on Long Island was the best time of my life all while beginning somewhat in a traumatic way. The trauma had nothing to do with where I was though. In fact, my love for the area was one of the things that saved me time and time again. I never thought I would see NY much less live there. Of course, I loved the shows Friends and Sex in the City but never ever did I have any desire to live there. I was also so shy and I had a fear of living anywhere where there were lots of people. I give NY the credit for bringing me into the woman I am today. For sure I am not painfully shy anymore.
While moving was huge, Long Island is a peaceful place where you can really have any kind of life you want. The new experience thing I want to talk about is when I took a job with a friend I met on Instagram. Of course, when you move to a new place the first thing you do is try to find big girls around you. I do believe I had found her and started following. Anyway, while I was trying to figure out if I wanted to stay with my ex or go, I began working for this friend we shall call Amy.
Let me set the scene. I was around 480 in weight; I was still recovering from my back fracture and car wreck. I knew my ex had cheated on me and we were living in the last apartment we would have together before we moved into his parent’s basement. Amy was looking for an assistant to help get her organized and take a bit of stress off her with the little task she didn’t have time to handle. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I made her life any easier at all. But that isn’t what this is about. This is about new things and let me tell you taking this job meant a lot of new things.
First off, this job was on the Upper East Side (that’s right, if the Jeffersons theme song just started playing in your head or Nelly, then you’re right on track). In order to get from where I lived on Long Island into Manhattan over to the Upper East Side, I would have to do a cross-country trek. First, I had to get taken to the train station near where I lived. Then I tok a 60 min to 2-hour train ride to Penn station. I had been living in the area for about 8 years and had never taken a train anywhere. I had not even been to Penn station. The Sunday before I was to start work, my ex made me ride the train with him into Penn station. Wow, that was wild. I whisper to him at one point omg I’m a real New Yorker now. He laughed and said, “Not so much”. So, the day rolled around when I would go alone. I got to the train station extra early, and had a bagel and juice while I waited. The train came in, and I managed to slip into my seat and lean back and rest all of maybe 20 minutes to the stop where the entire town must have been going into the city. An older gentleman got up to give his seat to some young girls and then asked to sit by me. I said sure although I was like ug… So, he sits down and begins to talk.
My first ride into the city was the 9:11 time train, this man sitting beside me said he wished he had taken another train. Of course, I said why (I thought he was trying to be rude about sitting next to me) and then this man changed my life. He was a member of one of the first Firehouses to respond on 9/11. He was working at one fire house and I believe his son was at another one. Long story short he didn’t know if his son was alive for a bit of time, and he himself was one of the only survivors of his house. With tears in his eyes, he was telling me his story – how in fact today he was going into Manhattan for a doctor’s visit because his lungs had a huge effect on him from that day/days. When we got into Penn station, we got up to get off and he asked me what I was doing today. I told him this was my first trip to Manhattan alone on the train and I wasn’t quite sure about everything. He apologized for terrifying me and I assured him I was fine and truly was blessed by his story. He went his way and I went mine.
So if the train ride in was not enough of a big first I had to then go outside, and walk a couple of blocks to call a car because it would have taken forever to wait for one out front. I got an uber, after having to walk even further till I found a doorman that could tell the driver where I was exactly. The driver then took me on a trek across Manhattan and next thing you know I’m sitting outside a high-rise building in which I went in. There was a lobby man I had to give my name to, he would call up and then and only then was I allowed to go to the elevator. I was a little early so I sat to wait. I kept thinking, “What are you doing? Here you sit in a highrise upper east side lobby waiting to be deemed able to go up”. I enjoyed watching the people of this place. You could easily tell the people who were working for all the different families, from the actual people that lived there. I loved getting there early and just people watching.
The first time I went up the elevator and walked down the hall to open their door, I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to just be a 2-bedroom apartment. Of course, in the city, you buy your apartments and that one probably costs more than the home and 15 acres of land I grew up on put together. The view was spectacular, you could hear one of the old church’s bells ringing, and it was a pretty magical view. I guess I expected some over-the-top place when it just looked normal. That’s not to say it was normal because I nearly choked on what they had paid for the dining table.
That night after work, I would take the uber back to Penn, the train back to Long Island, the car back home. This time in my life, although it was a short time, it was very meaningful. It taught me a great number of things. It also allowed me to be more confident, and more willing to try things that scared me. I will never forget the little job on the Upper East Side. I seriously never imagined the adventures that would take me there.
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