I’m not going to pretend to be unique in this endeavor. By moving to New York, I’m doing what countless Americans (and non-Americans) have been doing for centuries. New York is the land of opportunity; it’s where immigrants go to start a new life abroad, where the young go to find themselves, where the ambitious go to make it big. If New York was not the land of transplants that it has been since its very beginning, it would not be New York today.
For those who know me well, you’re probably surprised that it took me 22 years to move to New York. I’ve been obsessed with the city since I was twelve (I blame all the Law and Order I used to watch as a child). In high school, I carried a foldable map of Manhattan in my uniform pocket and memorized the street names on my spare time. I even designated a dream apartment – the entire twelfth floor of 820 Fifth Avenue.
When college came around, family and friends wondered why I hadn’t applied to any schools in New York and instead chose one located on the opposite side of the country. I spent those four years at a school that I somehow survived, in a city that I eventually learned to love (Portland, I desperately miss your coffeeshops and adorable neighborhood restaurants now that I’m back in Honolulu). I figured I’d go to grad school in New York after a short year-long, post-college break, so I spent the fall of 2011 slowly doing grad school research — specifically for NYU, Columbia, and New School — and trying my hardest to become passionate [enough] about urban planning.
Anthony and I had only been going out for slightly over two months when he told me that he had been sitting on an idea for a while: he would move to New York with me when I get into grad school. I loved the idea. That day, I thought long and hard and finally admitted to myself what I didn’t want to believe: I was using grad school as an excuse to move to New York. Like many of my passions, my goal to study urban planning was fleeting.
With no institution supporting me, it seemed as though I no longer had a valid reason to move. Then I realized – what am I talking about? People move to the City all the time, for much less than a decade-long obsession. The very next day, I asked Anthony if he’d come to New York with me even if I wasn’t going to school there. Without any hesitation, he said yes.
Eventually we agreed to set mid-June (yes, the hot season) as our moving date. After spending two weeks in the Bay Area, we’ll be landing in New York early in the morning of Wednesday, June 20. It’s less than a month away; let the countdown begin.
P.S. You can follow my aforementioned boyfriend’s own blog at YoungManWentWest.com. He’s been working on this blog since moving to Hawaii after college about three years ago. Eventually (hopefully soon!), he’ll be changing it to YoungManWentEast, so keep an eye out.