Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In a New York Minute

I pulled my coat around my shoulders
And took a walk down through the park
The leaves were falling around me
The groaning city in the gathering dark

In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute
You can get out of the rain
In a New York Minute
Everything can change

In a New York Minute

-Don Henley, "New York Minute"

I believe in signs. And I am also a little bit superstitious. I throw salt over my shoulder. I don't dare walk under ladders. When I was in Brazil this past spring I had a bracelet tied around my wrist. Basically a yellow ribbon, known as a "fita". It was tied in three knots. With the tying of each knot, a wish is made. I forgot what my wishes were, but all I knew was that I couldn't tear nor cut that son-of-a-b^+ch off until it fell off on its own or the wishes wouldn't come true.

This "fita" is a tradition in Salvador, the northern part of Brazil. The bracelets look like this:

People ask me what it is all the time, and when I tell them all this ballyhoo about wishes and not breaking them, they roll their eyes. So instead I simply tell them "it's a tan line indicator".

But I'll come back to that.

On another note, I've been working in my career field for about 10 years. I am ready to really either make a career change or to have a position with a little more responsibility (and a little more salary!) So a position came available to me at my current job- a promotion. Only- it involves a transfer to our campus in Durham, North Carolina.


So I flew down there, interviewed, and was offered the promotion two days later. I hemmed and hawed, trying to decide what to do. Decided I'm not gonna go. It's not enough money and I love New York. I really can't see myself anywhere else. My mind was made up.

I did some research. I looked at the cost of living. Basically if you make $100,000 in NYC (which I don't, but I'm just using a whole number for comparison sake), you only have to make $42,000 in NC, or some-such number.

And I could have for $800/month a 1000 square foot apartment with a pool, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer, a fireplace, a parking space, a private movie theater, a gym, central air, and all of this other stuff that I can't even think of right now. Whoa. I won't even divulge what I pay in rent here.

Rethink this?

No WAY. I've lived in New York for the past decade and it's my home and I love it here. 4th Floor walk-up and all. And I'm not ready to go. I hate packing. I hate moving. I don't want additional responsibility. I don't want to pay for a car and insurance again. I love Sunday brunch in the city. I like working with my current boss and we have a great rapport. I don't want to change my mailing address.

Seriously, I've thought of every silly and pointless argument in the book of "why not to go". (Although I do argue that some of my reasons are very valid!) And besides, Autumn is my favorite season in New York. No way I'm missing that. The leaves change and it's beautiful. In my opinion, the two best months in New York City are October and April. Those two months are when everything changes. The leaves change color from green to red in October. And then in the spring they change from barren skeletons to beautiful white blossoms. Wardrobes change from shorts to jackets in the fall. Weather changes from sweltering heat to a brisk chill in the autumn and from bitter cold to pleasant and sunny in the spring. Coffee flavors change from coconut to pumpkin spice in October.

It didn't take long to recognize that maybe it is ME who needs a change. I just wrote a stupid blog about less-than-desirable dating pool here and how frustrating it is. (By the way, that tall hottie that might have been my future husband- wellllll, I think he was married. Not to me. He was "visiting a sick family member" every single weekend in CT and his phone was mysteriously off every evening. Funny. Another one bites the dust.) I always complain about my small apartment with all the stairs and no washer/dryer. I have only made lateral moves for the past 10 years. The rush hour subway makes me want to punch someone. My career needs some development.

What am I doing?

Reluctant to budge, I was prepared to turn down the position.

But I vacillated.

Should I stay or should I go?

I decided I should just go ahead and accept it. It just makes sense. I will be the Director of an entire department. I will make more money. I will be able to better utilize my talents. The people are so friendly. I am so qualified for this job and I have good ideas for it. They are paying for me to relocate. I am ready for the next step. I love the idea of a beautiful and comfortable home. I am ready to own a car again.

The very morning I prepared myself to call HR and accept the position, my fita fell off.

I think it was a sign.

So I gingerly signed the contract with trembling hands, I carefully dialed and faxed it back, and then I violently cried my eyes out.

(To be continued.)