Friday, July 11, 2008

Mixed blessings in misfortune

On May 9, 2008 I packed up a U-Haul truck and my former Ford Explorer (don't hate!) with all my belongings, my cat and my boyfriend and began the 900 mile drive from Atlanta to New York. A short pit-stop in Pennsylvania, a million cups of coffee and three sedatives (for the cat) later, we arrived in East Harlem and at our new apartment.

Why did we make this move? Well, it started last autumn as a fleeting thought of broader horizons, new beginnings, another adventure. By March we were scanning the apartments on Craigslist on a daily basis, ever increasing our price range as we realized Atlanta prices were just unrealistic. Come April we landed at Newark airport, crashed on a friend's futon in Williamsburg and set out hunting. As luck would have it we were unable to find a single apartment for the first three days of hunting. On the verge of admitting defeat, we packed our bags and ready to head to the airport, decided to check the postings one last time.

And then we saw it, the apartment that seemed too good to be true: 8 big windows with views of the East River and a gorgeous old church, roof access, 1 bedroom, office, dining room, kitchen with cabinets galore, and a comfy sized living room. Still skeptical, "there's gotta be something wrong with it at that price," we set off from Williamsburg and took the 6 way uptown and emerged in El Barrio. It was just that perfect and we signed the papers on the spot and headed back to Atlanta completely satisfied.

Our living arrangements now taken care of, I began furiously applying for jobs. New York is the hub for organizations in my field, so I assumed it would perhaps take me 2-3 months to find a job. Its now July 11th and I am still unemployed. And while my savings are quickly drying up (after next months rent I will officially be broke), I am thrilled to have an extended vacation, the likes of which I have not had since the summer before I started university.

After having worked near 70 hours a week on average for the past few years (between school, internships, and waiting tables) I didn't know how to not have anything to do. I am still struggling with this but am learning to revel in sitting in the sunshine on my roof and reading for pleasure. For the first few weeks though, I kept myself busy--I painted the kitchen and the bedroom, I arranged and rearranged furniture, I matted and framed photographs of the family and friends I left behind in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the bf set his heart on finding a German Shepard to adopt and after much searching, brought home a beautiful puppy.

Quickly realizing I had no idea how to care for a puppy I feverishly googled everything from teething to potty training to diet. By experience we learned we needed to take her out every hour on the hour and within 15 minutes of feeding her and that puppy teeth are super sharp and when the first heat wave of the summer happened and our apartment was consistently 85 degrees we learned that puppies can't regulate their temperature well and we invested in an air conditioner. So we learned and we ran up and down our four flights of stairs 12 times a day to take her out to "be a good dog."

Finally, after much nagging, I got the bf to schedule a vet appointment for puppy and kitty checkups. At the vet, we learned even more 1) never trust breeders who give their own shots and claim that they have dewormed the animal--Elliott had a wicked case of roundworms which accounted for her unusually small size and 2) our neighborhood is chock full of parvo and other puppy diseases that are fatal. So the pup got a new dose of deworming medicine and we were forbidden from taking her outside till her vaccination series is complete. Ugh!

So now all the training we had done teaching Ell to go outside had to be erased and we had to teach her it was okay to go inside. Fortunately this news couldn't have come at a better time: that evening, my partner in crime, while moving a bookshelf at my request, had a 30lb dumbbell roll off the shelf and land directly on his foot, virtually turning his 5th tarsal into mashed potatoes. At least with the dog peeing inside on puppy pads this meant I wouldn't have to be the only one to run up and down the stairs with her on an hourly basis.

And now we are to today. The bf is out of the permanent cast and is in a walking boot, which he elects to wear only on occasion, the puppy has her last set of shots tomorrow and we will be able to take her out again, we have adopted the bf's older, wayward brother for the time being till he returns to his leatherfooting ways, and as for me... I am still unemployed and aside from the occasional panic attacks when I realize I am about to have to settle for waiting tables again, I am loving every minute of being a new New Yorker. Another Atlanta peach in the Big Apple.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Step aside Carrie Bradshaw - there is ia new sheriff in town. Love you!