This I Believe

Christina - Sterling, Virginia
Entered on July 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe everything happens for a reason. Earlier this year, I moved to New York for a week. Well, a work week. And that includes both the day I moved in and the day I left.

I put my two weeks in at a job I didn’t like and announced that I, a lifelong Virginia resident, would be moving to the Big Apple all by myself. And I’m an identical twin—I’ve always had a built-in best friend. I had a going away party (or two). Friends oooed and ahhed and told me how brave I was. I soaked it in, visions of grandeur danced.

Then I moved in.

My dad and brother came with. We went shopping at Gourmet Garage and stocked the bathroom with supplies from CVS. I gave happy a shot but I was terrified, knowing full well that when they left I would be alone in a city of millions. I publicly cried through breakfast the next morning.

I then blogged. I claimed I’d stumbled upon a new form of depression associated with leaving the familiar for an entirely new life. My friend Jenn came over and witnessed my meltdown. I cried incessantly, unable to sleep without drinking entire bottles of wine.

So a few days later I went home. I inflated my golden parachute and crashed, deflated by the knowledge that a visit home meant failure. My totally supportive family told me to do what I wanted, but all I wanted was someone to tell me what to do.

I knew full well that some of what I felt was normal. The physical reaction, however, was unbearable. I had anxiety, something I had never experienced before. The anxiety floodgates opened. I became anxious about my friends’ reactions; they’d say I didn’t give it enough time. They’d look at me in disbelief. I’d lie initially and say it was temporary, that I still had a three month sublet in Manhattan. We all knew that was bull.

I soon got a call about my dream job, the reason I had moved to New York. Then the position fell through. So I let my sublet run out. I started to look for jobs in both DC and NYC. Or that’s what I told people. They got the picture after I took a job in DC.

I told people that I got a music industry job here, an hourly position with a concert promoter, so I didn’t need NYC (that was the reason I moved, initially). I’m guessing few believed that the job, and not my anxiety, kept me here.

Ironically the industry wasn’t for me. I recently started a job with a literary foundation and I’m in love. I’ve never felt this way about work. I think it was love at first site. I’m nervous to put it in writing it’s going so well. It took several thousand dollars, an anxiety diagnosis and gallons of tears to get here.

But everything happens for a reason.