We are a few weeks into our move to NYC and quite frankly, it has been a rollercoaster. Granted, this isn’t our first move, so I have been prepared for how hard it is to move and transition. I quite vividly remember how miserable I was when we first moved to NC, so none of this has taken me by surprise. And while we love NYC and absolutely know this is where the Lord has us for now, it has been great some days and hard others.
Confession – I don’t have a lot of pictures, mostly because life has been about getting unpacked, going to the park, the grocery store, the library, getting new licenses, starting Kinsley in school, and all the other things that come with moving.
Moving to NYC has been a lot like moving to a completely different country, so just to give you a glimpse, I am going to share the biggest differences we have seen so far.
1 – School has way more security and is a lot more diverse than in the South – some of this is a given, like the diversity, but it really hit home when I had to select what language we wanted communication from the school to come to us in. And, when we went to register her, we couldn’t bring in strollers and had to give a photo ID to the officer at the front desk. Also, pick up is in the courtyard outside if the weather allows…versus car pool lines in NYC.
2 – Whoa, the walking. Without having a car, and even if we did have a car, people walk everywhere because parking is so hard around here. It took us about a week to get our “city legs” and we quickly learned that Emerson is a fantastic walker and can keep up with us. Kinsley, not so much, bless her sweet heart. When we have to walk a mile to get to a store, that isn’t so bad to us, compared to saying “NO WAY!” in NC and hoping in the car. This is great in that we get lots of exercise and I am pretty sure I haven’t put on any baby weight since being here. Not so great – everything takes forever to do because not only do you have to get everyone out the door and bundled up, but it takes kids longer to walk places.
3 – We order everything! We haven’t branched out into the world of ordering food yet, mostly because we have an Aldi about a mile away and a grocery store on the next block, but we have found ourselves ordering everything else. Last night? I ordered salt and pepper shakers. Yes, I could have gotten them at a few different stores around here, but why would I do that when I can just order them. And another great part about ordering things? We have a doorman who collects our boxes for us and then we get a handy little email or call saying we have a package – who doesn’t love getting packages?
4 – You realize quickly that you are not in control. We knew this, right? But living here reinforces it every single day. If you are riding the subway and expect to be somewhere at such and such time, just be prepared that it could take way longer to get there because of subway delays such as train traffic or because they may decide on that day to do subway work and skip stops or not to go to a certain stop. Granted, we don’t have to take the subway everyday, yet, but you also never know when lines will be really long at the grocery store, laundromat, or anywhere else you go (gone are the days of just throwing in a load of laundry before you leave the house and switching it to the dryer when you return). Flexibility is key, and again, planning for things to take way longer than they actually do.
5 – There is so much to do! After recovering from a nasty stomach bug that went through every one of our family members, we decided we wanted to get out of the house, but the possibilities of where to go and what to do were endless. We ended up trekking into Manhattan to this really cool playground at Central Park, getting cupcakes at one of our favorite cupcake shops, and taking a trip to Best Buy. We have learned to LOVE the playground and have enjoyed meeting other families there (when the parents are actually there instead of the nannies, which it seems like everyone has around here). We also are loving spending more time with our kids because there aren’t endless things to do around our apartment. We heard this was going to be great about NYC and we have to say, we agree wholeheartedly.
6 – We are surrounded by SO many cultures! We can’t leave our apartment complex without hearing multiple languages being spoken, it isn’t common for us to see “white people” like us, and you really learn to value the differences in people. This can be challenging as you aren’t just going overseas and learning one culture, but are constantly meshing with many different cultures. But, it has been exciting for us to be able to worship with the nations at church, value the differences in the way the Lord has made us, and force ourselves to interact with people who aren’t like us.
I am sure there are many, many more that I haven’t mentioned, and more that we will learn. Some days we absolutely love it here and some days it is really hard and I am ready to go “home”. It is so great to remember how the Lord provided for us to get here, called us here, and that this is exactly where He wants us. Will you pray that we will be bold with those around us and seek to really meet people and connect with them rather than just saying hey in passing? It can be easy to get bogged down in the darkness of this city and to want to retreat to our apartment, but God has called us to be light to all those around us, even when the darkness is prevalent. Thanks for your prayers!