It’s very strange to think that the semester is almost over. As I begin to write this, I still have all of my finals to take but I’m very much in shut-down mode. My brain has had enough. Overall I enjoyed school, even though it wasn’t at all what I expected. For one, it was a lot more work than I anticipated but I found it to be a high volume of relatively easy work. It was time consuming, more so. However, when I reflect back on this semester it’s more all of the changes in my life that I’m noticing and all of the real life lessons that I learned outside of the classroom that matter to me the most.
So, I moved to New York in August. Before I came here I was barely even excited, just because it felt like the natural next step. I knew for so long that I planned to move here so by the time it actually came around I was rather blasé about it all. That was dumb of me. It’s New York City, arguably the greatest place in the world. I feel like it may even have come off as unappreciative, although that was not the case. I remember before I moved telling people that I was going to New York and feeling like they almost didn’t believe it, perhaps because I couldn’t quite believe it myself. You know, I’ve been saying this for years and years now. For it to now be my reality is rather strange and also rather validating. I haven’t been talking shit for all this time. I’ve accomplished something.
It’s funny to me how quickly I became nonchalant in regards to the city. Perhaps when you’re doing regular day-to-day tasks the excitement begins to wear off. Getting on dirty subway late at night leaves little to the imagination, especially when you see rats running on the tracks, getting caught up in the rubble left behind by passengers. Fellow subway passengers are often less than pleasant too. I’m used to that after the whole train fiasco last winter with the Forth Road Bridge closures, but here it is just like that 24/7. It’s actually such a treat to get a seat on the train. I still love New York. Every once in a while it hits me that I live here and it’s actually a huge deal. For example, this weekend I walked back across the park with my groceries. When I say the park, I mean Central Park. As in, the park from all of the famous movies that everyone talks about. The iconic destination. And I’ve experienced the park both in the delightful sunshine in the summer and the burnt autumnal colors in the fall and the cold and rain of winter. It’s beautiful in all seasons. Furthermore, as I continued on my journey I walked by many more iconic sites – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (i.e. the lunch spot on Gossip Girl), The Dakota building (or the Bram, if you’re a fan of Rosemary’s Baby), The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormon church from Angels in America). Everywhere you look in New York, there’s a cultural reference, whether that be a pop-culture movie or tv show, a book, a piece of art, a historical story or figure. It’s easy to march on by and rush ahead with your day (something that I’m definitely guilty of), but instead I am beginning to make more of an effort to look around and appreciate it. New York is the centre of the universe. Not literally but figuratively. It’s awe-inspiring.
Before coming to FIT, I thought I knew what I wanted to do career wise. I’ve been thrown a little bit of a curveball since getting here. But I also feel a lot more relaxed. I no longer feel that I need to stick to this career plan that I had in mind and I realise that nothing has a fixed timescale. It’s all about taking things at your own pace and enjoying life as it comes as well. I don’t want to be a buyer anymore because it feels very corporate and also not particularly enjoyable. I need something more creative or at least something where I can build a direct relationship with the clothing (whether that be via wholesale, selling the collection and getting to know everything about the pieces from the seams to the fabrications). I’d also prefer a smaller team, I think.
Regardless, I feel a lot more relaxed about life in general now. On the whole I’m very happy. I have love. I have friends. I have family. I have a home (and it’s all my own, built up entirely by me). I have health. And finally, I have happiness. If you don’t have happiness what do you have? I’ve been rather down for a couple of years now because I felt that my life was on hold as I was waiting to come here. Now that I’ve finally arrived I feel like I can finally begin living. I’ve realised that I am actually so young and I have so much of life ahead of me. I have friends in their thirties. I have classmates who are returning to school for a career change or who already have children. I now know that life does not have to follow a set, rigid path and that’s ok. That’s what I needed.