Sunday, July 1, 2012

You Can Take The Girl Out of Boston...

I started this blog. Swore I was going to update all the time. Months go by, new job, new friends, new projects, and very few updates. So few in fact that I didn't realize my domain had expired. Oops.

But I'm starting fresh, because you know what Liz did? I accepted a job in New York! This is the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time. It was unexpected, but I was approached with a fantastic opportunity and couldn't pass it up. Plus, I've had the itch to move for a while. Boston is my home. There is no where I feel more comfortable, but almost too comfortable. I have a PHD in this city. Every sight, every restaurant, every haunt. It's time to stretch myself.

So it this is how it went down. While in New York for work on June 5th, the opportunity was presented to me as a possibility, pending a few changes that were still TBD.  I had a sinking feeling that this "potential opportunity" was real. I knew it in my gut that my life just changed.  It came up during my last meeting of the day and I left for Penn Station in a tizzy. Had a few scotches on the train ride home, and immediately opened Craigslist to see where I might be living.  Oh, and I met John Slattery while waiting for my car.  I think the universe was telling me that this was supposed to happen.  I work in advertising.  I just met Roger Sterling on the street.  New York was meant to be.

And then I kept it to myself. My own little secret. Afraid to tell anyone until I knew it was real because I would feel like a loser if I told everyone I might be going, only to have it fall through. So fast forward a few weeks and S&%T got real. The job was real and they needed an answer. Tomorrow. I toughed through a conversation with my boss' boss where I am trying to play hard ball career lady and talk relocation packages, cost of living increases blah blah while fighting back tears. The first of many that day.

I leave the office and drive to meet my Be-Fri Jen for dinner, and utilize the car ride to call my parents. My dad answers, and I'm choking up. After some small talk, I break the news. He is totally supportive, yet raising all of the points and concerns any parent would. I know he is on board. He suggests calling my sister Wendy, a New Yorker of 15 years to get advice on apartments etc.

Here's the kicker. My amazing sister Wendy moved to New York fresh out of college, and is just a week away from leaving the city to start a new life California. I'm excited to tell her but beyond disappointed that we won't get to share the city together. I break the news and after a gasp of disbelief, she calls us "ships passing in the night" and is immediately on Craigslist determined to find me a home. Damn she's a good dooby. She knows this city. I mean really knows it. It makes my PHD in Boston look like a PHD in flip flops. Beyond my disappointment in not getting to live there with her is the uneasiness that she won't be able to help me find a place and give her seal of approval to my neighborhood. She also told me that if this happened six months ago her husband never would've dragged her out of New York. But everything happens for a reason. She is starting a new chapter with her family, and I am forced to do this on my own. It is terrifying but so exciting. Much like this whole experience. I hang up the phone with her, and it's on to dinner with Jen.

So ten minutes into our Chipotle burritos, I blurt out that I have to tell her something before I lose the nerve. I can see some skepticism in her face and I just spew "I'M MOVING!" She was understandably taken off guard, and of course I start crying, and explain the situation. At the end of the day I know she is happy for me no matter what, but she is upset I never talked it over with her. I know she is hurt. And I realize at that moment that we are so close that this isn't just a big change for me, it is for her too. We do everything together, and haven't been separated in ten years. I have instant guilt, and I think to be honest, she isn't over me not telling her before it was a done deal. But there is no one I am more excited to have visit me than her. We are always on the same page, love to travel together, and I can’t wait to explore my new city with her!

Now onto my mom. I told my dad he could give her the spoiler alert, so when I called she knew what to expect. I was bracing myself for devil's advocate the whole way. I was ready for her to poke holes in everything from the career potential to the financials. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She was 210% supportive and recognized what a great opportunity it is for me. What I was really left with was the quote that I will take with me through this whole experience. "Suck it up, Go for it, It's nothing that can't be undone." Cue the waterworks. I hang up the phone with her and weep. It's real, I am going. And it means the world to me to have so much love and support. But I still have one sister to go…

Ugh, telling Barbara. I couldn't tell her the same night as everyone else because at this point it's 9pm, and she is 9+ months pregnant and well asleep. I wait through the next day at work, which happens to be her due date, and call her after work. From the second she picks up the phone I am dreading every second. Her husband and my nieces are hustling around getting ready for an event at church. I hear my little niece's voices and I'm getting upset thinking about how I won’t see them as often.  I just can’t let myself go there.  We talk about her doctor’s appointments and her annoyance of being so pregnant, and I am half concentrating on the conversation, and half pondering whether to tell her before or after her husband and kids leave for church. This will devastate her. I am preparing myself for her to rebut "It's so far away" "You will never see the kids" and on and on. So eventually I open with "I have some news that might send you into labor" and without hesitation she responds "Where is it?" It's weird about sisters right? You just get it. I tell her it's New York and she says "Thank God it's not London or Chicago. If there was one place I could pick, I'd pick New York". She knew I had itchy feet and it was just a matter of time before I went somewhere. What she didn’t know was that both Chicago and London were on the table at one point, and boy that would be tough. In telling both Barbara and my mom, it was not the response I expected, but it was the response I needed. And that felt pretty damn good.

So all in all, I am overwhelmed by support and love. I still don't know when exactly I am going, but I think it will be mid August. There is still a lot to do in Boston (that means a lot to eat). A lot of friends to hug and pictures to take, but I am so ready for this adventure. And the weird thing is it is ten years exactly from when I moved to New York to intern at Letterman. And my office is around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater at that.

This month just feels epic in a lot of ways. One sister is moving clear across the country, and the other is going to have a beautiful baby boy at any moment (literally). My best friend got a new job in Charlotte, but the new job means she gets to travel to New Jersey a lot, just a quick train ride from NYC. Sometime I sit there and think to myself "I'm moving to New York" and I get a tingly nervous feeling in my chest. I tear up a lot, and think about all of the people and things I will miss, but that are only a train ride away.

You can take the girl out of Boston, but you will never take Boston out of the girl. This is my home, and I will be back a lot. I worry about feeling like I am a visitor in this city. My city. But I think the experience of living in New York is something you just can't pass up. And I can always come home.

Suck it up, Go for it, It's nothing that can't be undone.

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