I’m really only recapping the events of my time away because I genuinely do believe it shaped me into who I am at this very moment. I think that’s important to really move forward. After losing my original job in Jersey (from a previous blog post), I went to New York to start fresh!
I had a friend in NY, she had an apartment to herself and she invited me to come stay with her. It was like a big sleep over we excitedly thought. I got to NY and she met me, and shortly after we headed straight to hers. I won’t dwell intensely on what it was like staying there but to sum it all up–I don’t regret a thing. We live and we learn, and some people are better as distant friends than they are roommates. She definitely is a beautiful soul, crazy…but beautiful.
I was focused on getting a job. Granted, most would’ve enjoyed having money sent to them from good ol’ moms and pops but there was always something empowering about having your own. I grew up constantly having everything decided for me. There was no resemblance of any independence. I strongly believe the first step to gaining respect from your parents if you have strict ones, is to get a job. The less you asked, the less they had over you. I signed up on EVERY job posting site there was. Shout out indeed.com . Eventually, I got a bite by going through a job agency. I got a job working upfront as a cashier in a vegan health food store in Greenwich Village, New York. NOW, If you know Greenwich Village, you’d know that its among the most affluent neighborhoods in New York. It took me 2 whole train rides of 1.5 hours in total just to get there from where I stayed. This job paid…WELL.
I worked a full 40 hour weeks, I maintained my pescatarian lifestyle that I was strict with for a pretty long time, I was eating vegan at work and I was getting all the perks of being in New York. It was the most New York, New York I’ve ever experienced. There were gay couples everywhere. There was an ice cream parlour LITERALLY called “Big Gay Ice Cream Shop” right on the block. Don’t believe me? Google it. I’ll wait.
After work I was buying glazed munchkins, Iced Caramel Macchiatos and taking strolls through shops before I even headed home all by myself. It was the dream…until I had to hop on the subway. I hated the subway. I hated men that sat with their legs SUPER wide open, I hated the beggars that walked through and fell on top of you when the train braked suddenly, I hated delayed trains and I HATED not having any service undergrounds.
Fast forward a few weeks, I lost that amazing NY job. Sudden wasn’t it? It hit me suddenly too..
“Woah, wtf why?!”
“I don’t know…the boss just told me that he’ll call you when he needs the help again…sorry I thought you were doing great..I’m sorry.’
No reason was given, but I do think it was because I spoke to no one there. I walked in, did my hours then left. Life comes at you fast bro. You LIVE and you LEARN! A good attitude is very important. I was having MAJOR boyfriend issues, I was having roommate issues–I didn’t care to be happy at work but if you’ll take anything from me, leave your problems at home. It was THAT or they let me go because I was black in a predominantly white neighborhood…I won’t pull the race card (definitely pulling the race card). Back on the couch, job searching..once again.
I was depressed. My roommate was stressing me, I couldn’t leave, clear my head and go out even if I wanted because I didn’t want to go broke when I’m on my own and not have a job to compensate, I couldn’t call my parents because I wanted to prove my independence and not prove them right, I started feeling like a burden because I couldn’t contribute financially the way I wanted to and I was starting to feel hopeless. I started beating myself up about what I could’ve done differently to not lose that job. I started overthinking. I didn’t have a very supportive boyfriend to help motivate me…or even make time for me at least. I was on my own. Literally and figuratively, I was all on my own. I considered giving up so much over those distressful weeks. What if I had kids and bills to worry about? Is that how suddenly you could lose your source of income and struggle? It was a wake up call at most.
I decided to keep trying and THANKFULLY, I got a call for a job in Brooklyn, 2.5 hours away, at this Greek, family-owned diner. It was amazing..once again. I thought I was too damn lucky. I loved loved loved loved loved my coworkers. I loved the bosses. I loved the customers. It was like your friendly neighbourhood Greek 24/7 diner. It was so timely as I was starting to think I should book a one way ticket to Jamaica and call it quits. I was a waitress. I had ZERO waiting experience. I had no qualifications but you fake it til you make it. How hard could carrying plates of foods to customers be, right? After a while, you get used to your fingers pressing against just off the fire hot plates, customers that wait too long because they wanted their burgers well done, or angry Latino women telling you they wanted Provolone cheese on their grits and not American. I grew up knowing two types of cheese: sliced cheese and tastee cheese. I was culture shook. Nonetheless, the wages were fantastic, the hours were do-able and the TIPS…the tips made it all worth it.
I did meet a fun-spirited Puerto Rican co-worker. He was the new guy, and the new guy and I worked all the same shifts. He always offered to bring me home (2.5 hours ago might I remind you), he was a street racer so it was exhilarating as well as did I reach home in like an hour instead. We hung out quite often and he was a great friend to have in any lifetime. New guy was there when my roommate and I weren’t getting along, he parked outside the apartment building, turned the chair warmers on and let me talk it out all night until I fell asleep in the car. He definitely did not have to do that, but we were strictly friends and I was happy to have him as that. I was very happy to have one other friend in New York.
I eventually quit that job after I met my financial goals, couldn’t deal with the roommate situation anymore, and headed back to Jersey to a friend, then went to Florida.
I hope what you take from a bit of this is that you really should never give up. It doesn’t matter if you get knocked down a hundred times, take it like a champ and jump to the next plan. If plan B doesn’t work, start drafting plan ‘C’ to ‘Z’ . I was happy even though I had a million reasons to be sad. I fought to have faith in myself and in the Universe that things would work out. I was slowly crumbling but if you keep pushing, things will work out. It might not be exactly what you hoped for, but it will suffice and you should always make the best out of a sticky situation.
Thanks for reading! I’ve had a few emails prompting me to elaborate on the Tinder ‘date’ experiences and I’m excited to get there I suppose. I appreciate you guys reaching out through the contact form, keep it coming! Next blog post, I promise I’ll get there!