And I’m back! I took a hiatus from the blog for various reasons: moving…multiple times, no internet in the woods, homelessness (not on the street for more than 6 hours thank…god?), job changes, and just all around frustration and confusion.
We left the story of the Penniless New Yorker in May or June I believe. Well, let me tell you it has been no bumpy ride. My boyfriend moved out in June to go do more educating in DC then home to Vermont for the summer. Great! For him. I stayed in Boston for a month and a half while he was gone. I worked my butt off because all of a sudden my rent doubled, but i really loved it. I was having the best time in Boston, finally! I had finally figured out how to make it home. I made a group of friends I could count on. I had a job I didn’t completely hate working at…the bakery. Money was always tight, but not horrible 100% of the time. It was as if I could actually breathe. My house was bbq-ing all the time. I was seeing friends and sitting in kiddie pools on my front lawn. I was being…me! It was amazing. I don’t remember the last time I was that comfortable. Of course I missed my boyfriend, and I missed my NYC summers; walking down 7th ave in the rain pretending we were going to the beach. I missed Siren festival. I missed Bryant Park movies. I missed my favorite bar. But the homesickness was all finally settling after months of hating my situation. It was like the clouds were finally parting. The warmth of the sun that everyone had been feeling was just starting to kiss my cheeks.
Part of it could be the amount of wine I consumed with my friends on my stoop out of mason jars.
Part of it could be the family I was creating there. Be it friends from college…
Or friends I just met
It was as if I was finally finding my place. Which is why m heart is still broken now that I am gone. Mid-July, I left Boston. I left my new home, my new family. I moved up to Vermont for the rest of the summer.
It was sad, but I went up there and it was actually fun! Minus the wild animals outside my window. No really, I had a pet badger that lived out my window. Scared the crap out of me every night. I made new friends. But it was still really upsetting. I went there to be a nanny for two amazing little boys. They were great. It was always an adventure. We baked every morning. We went on walks through the trees. We played on the swings. We read in the library. It would have been the most relaxing summer in the world…if it weren’t for the stress that was looming over my head. The dark clouds were back. Where was I going to go once the summer was over? What was I going to do? How was I going to afford to live anywhere?
There was a lot for me to think about. A lot for my boyfriend to think about. Then suddenly an email came. I got an internship! In DC! Guess that’s where I am going?! It is with a policy and advocacy group for civilians in conflict areas. It sounded like an amazing organization. My cousin knew the founder of the group, who unfortunately passed in a car bombing in Iraq. It was an organization that I really believed in, and an organization I was willing to work for, for free. So I made up my mind, boyfriend or not I was going to DC, also because that was the only thing I had to hold on to anymore. Little did I think that my boyfriend wanted to go to Switzerland! So I had been looking for a place for us to live in DC, which by the way is the worst thing to do in the world. DC is a horrible place to find housing. Especially when you can’t go there to look at places. I had finally found one in Silver Spring. It was affordable and nice, and close to the metro. Perfect! But wait…
What is that?
You got a job offer?
My boyfriend gotten a job offer in Switzerland. Not kidding. So I thought he was going to leave me to move all my by myself, once again. I was going to have to find a cheap room in the ghetto with people I didn’t know because I couldn’t afford our nice place anymore. So I found a room. With a group of guys, who seemed really nice, but the room didn’t have a door. And the room was actually just a closet with a bed in it. Oh Jesus. Wait?
What was that?
You’re NOT going anymore???
Visa complications, and look who is back! He never actually left. But his planning changed from moving to Europe back to moving to DC! yayyyyyyyy I could not have been more excited. Amazing. But crap, where are we going to live now? By this time it was about 2 weeks before we had to leave Vermont! How the hell are we supposed to find a place to live in DC in two weeks???
Yup you guessed right…freak out time.
We came down to DC thinking we were going to stay at his friend’s place. We get there and find out that because they expected us earlier they had planned a party the next night and we had to leave after one night. WHAAAAAA? So that night, we shared a very tiny, very smelly love seat. Hilarious to see probably, seeing as we are both VERY tall. After day of searching for apartments we learned where not to go.
We learned that you shouldn’t get out of the car when you see a woman OD on the street in front of the house you are trying to rent.
We learned that when a cab driver asks ‘do you really want to go there?’ you don’t actually want to go there.
We learned that cab drivers are the best resource ever.
We learned that being alone in a city without a home is no fun…
Luckily we found a place to stay for two weeks! Yay! Boyfriend’s mother had a friend with an extra room. It was amazing. Beautiful home. Beautiful woman. Beautiful location. It was great. After those two weeks were up, we had to find somewhere else to go. We ended up for about six hours sitting on a bench, with all of our belongings. We didn’t know where to go. It started raining. It was cold. It was straight out of a movie. Was this actually happening? Were we really homeless for the day? I was feeding pigeons the cereal we had in our bag, but I was having a great time. My boyfriend couldn’t believe the smile on my face. It was something so great about the birds eating the food. The best were the squirrels that came by. They looked at us, i gave them a cheerio, they nodded their head as if to say thanks, then walked away. These animals were just loving it and so was I! (yes we were those crazy homeless people surrounded by city animals for a few hours…straight outta home alone).
Thanks to air b&b, we ended up staying in the basement of this guy’s house in Takoma Park. Talk about dingy. Talk about a bit of a jerk too. He never spoke directly to me. He only spoke to my boyfriend. He assumed that I was completely incompetent because I was a woman. Boy, did he piss me off. I was so happy to get out of there!! We went from there to another person’s house. An old student of boyfriend’s mother let us stay with him for a week. That was great. We ended up becoming good friends. We all stayed up late talking about what we want to do, and how we can get there. We talked about books and politics. About music and movies. About life. It was refreshing having those types of late night chats. Having someone genuinely interested in what your next step was going to be.
FINALLY we found a place to live! It is a beautiful house. Three floors. Giant kitchen and living room. Washer dryer. Five minute walk from the metro.
Oh boyyyy. Yup. Half hour commute every morning, with some of the most passive aggressive people. But it is slowly becoming home.
Sleeping on an air mattress. In a room with no windows. But hey, it is ours. No one can take it away.
I now also have a second internship working for an educational and leadership ‘fund’. Now that is a great internship. My first one, I still have but it just isn’t giving me an educational experience. I had to demand more work. I am not spoken to there. I take notes. I make coffee. I run to CVS for paper towels and milk. I was told that I had to be more proactive, so I sat my boss down and demanded more work, and demanded an educational experience. The response was that I was not going to be coddled. Never did I ask to be coddled. I asked to be educated. It was and still is frustrating because, these are all women that I look up to. Women, that I wanted to become. They do great things, and make great change. I wanted to learn from them. But the longer I am there, the more and more I realize that I am not going to. That I am there to be an extra set of hands, eyes, and legs. I don’t mind anymore. Since I have realized this I have just done what they ask of me, not taken anything personally, and learned to expect very little. It is upsetting because I was really eager to learn from them, but I have lost all hope with this internship. The other internship, is like night and day. They really welcomed me in as part of the team. They take my suggestions and put them into action. They are not just teaching me, but also allowing me to show them my talents.
I also have a night job. Gotta pay rent some how. I am a hostess at an Irish pub in VA. It is the most social I get here. Because I don’t know really more than three people here in DC, my drink after work is allowing me to meet people. Make bonds. And have a little bit of fun when I can. Even if it is 1am and I have work in 7 hours. My party girl training in college really helps me out here. haha
But yes. The Penniless New Yorker is now living in VA with three jobs, exhausted from the last three months, nervous about the future, and strapped in for the rest of the ride. I miss my friends with my whole heart. Yes the boyfriend is here, but he could never substitute for my girls in Boston and New York (and Atl, and roc, and SF, and Jlem). I will be blogging more regularly now, so keep your eyes peeled for more from the Penniless New Yorker!!