Sunday, September 26, 2010


Here I am.

Today it finally rained and the temperature is in the low 70s (about time). I am enjoying the rain. It suits me. I am enjoying the feeling of summer being over finally and autumn hitting. It appears that this week the temperature will linger in the mid 70s. I’ll take it! Finally has reached a comfortable level, although I’ll be truly happy when it’s in the 60s and the leaves start to change color. So much really does indeed depend on the weather.

Much like the temperature, one could say that I too, am approaching a comfortable level here in North Carolina.

The morning before the movers arrived I sat in an empty apartment waiting for them to arrive. There really are a million things one can do in an empty apartment: make snow angel patterns in the carpet; count the number of paces from one wall to the next; turn various light switches on and off, etc. When they finished unloading the very sweet Foreman asked me if I needed anything else. I told him no, and he and said to his partner “Okay, let’s wrap it up and get back up to Brooklyn.” That’s when a sick feeling entered my stomach. Reality had hit: I would not be going back with them. *This* is my home now.

By Day 3 all bets were off. I gave up unpacking and went to the pool instead. I couldn't find my bottle opener, so I bought cans of Mike's Hard Lemonade and proceeded to drink every last one. My friend Douglas came over after work. I don't think he expected me to find me still in my bathing suit, slightly (okay more like *extremely*) tipsy, hair a mess, surrounded by mounds of unpacked boxes. Sweet Doug tolerated my inebriated behavior and after a long day I woke up around 2 AM on my sofa- Doug had covered me with the green blanket that my sister-in-law knit for me. I went into the kitchen and discovered that it was all unpacked for me. Dishes in cupboards. Bottle opener in a drawer. Magnets on the refrigerator. Pots and pans in the cabinets under the counters. Doug is my North Carolina angel.

But not everyone here moves at a pace like Doug. I am adjusting to the people and the much slower pace of North Carolina. It is going to take awhile for me to get used to this. I found it hilarious that my credit card company contacted me about some “suspected fraudulent charges”. I can use it in Ireland and Brazil and Namibia with no problem, but use that credit card at Art & Mo’s Filling Station in “Hicksville, Virginia” and it sends a red-alert. And I had to call them back and tell them it is ME! Me! I am the one who is making “questionable charges”.

The new job is great. I am very satisfied with that aspect of the move. I enjoy my new colleagues, my new level of responsibility that came with this promotion, the students, and the campus. I am learning to address conduct issues, process and make decisions about criminal records on admissions applications, navigate the archaic DOS-based database that we use, and learn how to "forecast" and how that differs from "the plan". I feel very grateful to be working in this setting. American Tobacco Campus is a beautiful venue. I find it mildly amusing that it is smoke-free there. The campus is in a corporate office facility, which is a former warehouse where Lucky Strikes were once manufactured. There are businesses, restaurants, and the campus contained in this structure. If you live in New York, you could compare the “gutted warehouse” architecture to Chelsea Market. If you live in northeast Ohio, think Quaker Square. I am really enjoying the loft-style buildings, the history behind the old warehouse environment, and the exposed brick walls.

My apartment is beautiful and spacious. I love the crown molding, the kitchen, the French doors, the walk-in closet, the washer/dryer, the dishwasher, the pool, the amenities, and the grounds, but I am running into some complications with the management which are too long and boring to post here in this forum. I am addressing them as I type this.

I bought a car. Hyundai Sonata. I enjoy it, as well. May re-finance for a better rate and also curious about my insurance rate. May do some shopping around for that too. It is somewhat complicated to do so from my office. My phone has not yet been set up in my office (come on, really? It’s been a week!) and my cell phone doesn’t get reception in my office, so I can’t get much done.

As you can see, it feels as though I’ve got a lot of loose ends. I hope to tie them up with a pretty ribbon and get into a pattern and really feel comfortable here. I once took a class and the instructor taught us to roll with the current instead of swimming against it and fighting it. The sea lends itself to many metaphors, which are perfectly adaptable to most life-scenarios. I have come to recognize that you have to roll with the waves instead of swimming against them. Otherwise you drown. I don't plan on drowning in Durham.

I do miss New York like crazy. I don’t know how a divorce feels, but I imagine it must feel somewhat like this. You grasp onto memories, but can’t quite keep ahold of them in a tangible way. I am nostalgic for autumn nights and walks through Central Park with auburn leaves crunching under my feet. I am nostalgic for my friends at my old job and drinks after work in Tribeca. I am nostalgic for the smell of coffee from the many carts throughout the city served in the Egyptian coffee cups. I am nostalgic for the straight-forwardness of the people. I am nostalgic for everything being closely contained and the corner bodega and pizzeria, and not having to hop in a car to get something. I am nostalgic for the Indian ladies who thread my eyebrows for $6. I am nostalgic for lunchtime walks along the Hudson River. I am nostalgic for the energy. I am nostalgic for listening to my ipod on the 6 train each morning and sharing my hilarious subway encounters with my friends on facebook every day. I know I’ll be back there again to live one day.

Listen, my goal here is not to complain about this place, nor sound negative but I don’t sugarcoat things either. Do I believe I’ll get used to some of the quirks and differences? Absolutely. Do I enjoy my new job? Definitely. Do I believe that I will soon dismiss and forget New York and my lifestyle there? Not a chance.

Okay, that's all I have to report. Now I'm going to go and try to assimilate and fit in. Maybe I'll even go have a glass of sweet-tea.


Kirstin said...

The south definitely is an adjustment, I discovered that when I tried to lease my first apartment on the weekend! Can you imagine a North Eastern property management firm ending business at 4:30 on a Friday!?!?
Also, Welcome to the AGD Blog network!!

Laurie said...

Thanks Kirstin! :) I am comforted to know that I am not the only one that feels like this!

Dara said...

Take advantage of the slow pace and use it as a forced relaxation. Remember how busy your life was in NY, well, here's your opportunity to embrace a frequent nap schedule!

Laurie said...

Unfortunately there is not exactly relaxation or "down time" whatsoever. My job is much more demanding here. Everyone ELSE just moves slowly and I am *more* stressed because I *am* moving and can't get things done the way I did in NYC. My life seemed to flow a little better in NYC, but who knows....maybe it's just because it's still new here.