Tuesday, August 21, 2012

be brave. fear less.

hello my long lost friends! it has been a while, hasn't it? i haven't forgotten about you, as i will prove later on on this blog, but how cruel of me to drop a huge life-change bomb on you and then leave you hanging for almost an entire month. a thousand apologies.

so i am currently typing on a brand new laptop that i opened today, with a brand new haircut which I got yesterday, in a tiny room in Brooklyn, NY! if i close my eyes, i can mentally transport myself into my little room on 16th St., just two miles from the White House. But when I open my eyes, it's evident that that little room is long gone. how can this be?

at the end of last month, I indeed moved from Washington, DC, my HOME for four years, to Brooklyn, NY. the few days before and after the move were the most difficult of all. not only did moving become a logistical nightmare, but i became completely distraught about leaving our great community of friends and family in the DC, VA, MD area.

two days before the big move, Chris and I invited our friends to celebrate with us over burgers and fries at Shake Shack. why why why did we plan such a torturous farewell? it was tough to see so many of our dearest people, all the while knowing that we would be saying goodbye at the end of the night.

you guys, i took it really hard. it's "get real" time on vintagejeannie. upon arrival in new york, I sort of became a shut in. everything was unfamiliar and ... just ... NOT HOME, you know? the smells and sounds were foreign and i felt like my entire knowledge base of restaurants, routes, metro lines, pretty parks, fun shopping -- all of that carefully curated knowledge was just wiped out. NO RELEVANCE HERE, new york said. ALL YOUR PRECIOUS RESEARCH? ALL YOUR EXPLORATIONS IN DC? worth nothing. but worse was feeling like i had no friends in the city. YOUR PEEPS? THEY'RE NOT HERE. start over. begin again.

I became paralyzed with fear. I didn't leave the apartment almost all day. the only time I ventured out was to meet chris when he finished work. but during the day, i sat on the couch watching old episodes of The Office several hours straight. pathetic!

but finally ... FINALLY, with chris's gentle chiding, I tiptoed out into the city. the first day that I went out on my own, I think I went to the Target about 3 blocks away to pick up some random toiletries and household items. that was about all I did that day. but then each day, I would try something new until I finally ventured on the subway by myself into the city to run some errands for school, but also to explore parts of the city on my own.

guess what? i gave new york a shot, and new york rewarded me in return. i'm really learning to enjoy this city (more on that in subsequent posts to come).

on one of those early days, chris and i went for a bike ride through brooklyn and on the way home i caught glimpses of two phrases that have stuck with me: one cafe that i peeked into had painted "Be Brave" on one of their walls. Hm, i thought. OK. tuck that one away. then, a few minutes later, we passed some graffiti on a wall that said, "Fear Less." I almost had to roll my eyes, it was so obvious! GOT IT. message received. haha.

so that's my motto for the next year and a half, anyway. I'm going to be brave and fear less. there are so many places in my life where this is applicable: in my reporting, in my relationships, in my approach to life. it's time to confront my fears, to be brave, fear less, and try new things.

as an added bonus, hopefully this experiment will yield slightly more interesting posts for you to enjoy :) here's hoping, anyway. stay tuned ...