It’s official. I am moving back to New York City later this month. I will be starting work as a senior research executive in the health care division at Hall and Partners. I don’t think it’s really going to hit me until this weekend, when I go looking for an apartment, that this is actually happening – I’m going back to the private sector, I’m going back to New York City. This is a job where I can actually progress and I’m looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe. I have enjoyed working at Harvard, but I think it’s time for me to cut ties with academia altogether. You can’t get anywhere in academia without a PhD, and we all know I’m not going back to that, so I really want to put my skills to use in private sector research again and make a career there. Not just a job, a career. I need a career now.
It’s a great feeling to be so motivated, to want to dive into things full-on. I’m going to be TurboKite. Powered by tea in the same Spurs 5 – Arsenal 1 mug that has followed me through every workplace since, well, the last time we beat Arsenal 5-1. Look it up. (Please don’t, it hurts. Hurts bad.)
And perhaps this finally marks the last summer in a long time when I’ll have to pack up everything and move. I have done that nearly every summer of the past decade, and it’s getting old. California was completely new to me, Boston was completely new to me – and every time you move someplace new, you’re at an automatic disadvantage when it comes to making a name for yourself. Again and again, having to introduce myself, give my life story, find new places to go and things to do and deal with so many unknown quantities…it just wears me out. I am 29. Enough. This nomadic jumping around, this repetitive uprooting…I am so tired of it. It’s also not the greatest for my personal life. I want roots to grow deep already. If I move again, it’ll only be back to London. Otherwise, I’m staying in New York and having an actual life in a familiar place where I can plan ahead in years instead of tentative months.
With the express aim of seizing as much of life as I can while I’m still young, I’m hoping to live in Manhattan. (You don’t have to tell me that it’s the most ridiculously expensive real estate in America, or that it might make more sense to live in the empty half of my family’s two-family house in south Brooklyn and save money. Now is not the time for sensibility.) Apparently there really are decent places on the Upper West Side in my price range. Not many, yeah, but still: THEY EXIST and somebody has to snag one and this weekend it might as well be me. I want to go for wanders again, the wanders I haven’t had since London because for years I haven’t lived places where it felt right. I want that kind of address again, I want to look at an envelope with my name on it and do that nod of recognition. You know, that one. I don’t need anything fancy. I need a securely-lockable door for when I’m between wanders. And a window for Oscar the parrot.
This feels like rejoining the land of the living. Oh lord, I’m going to cry right here. I should probably go to sleep.
…On the downside, not all is fine and dandy in the world of my writing, as the agent I mentioned working with in the last post doesn’t feel he can get behind my book. So, I’m back to square one there. Back on the unsolicited query letter treadmill. To say it’s gutting would be a massive understatement. All these years of trying, two novels completed and nothing signed, building up and then crashing down again…it would drive anybody bonkers. Then again, knowing that Simon and Schuster just gave a girl a six-figure deal for One Direction fan fiction (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP) riddled with poor grammar and completely derivative of Fifty Shades of Grey, and somebody has already discovered plagiarism from the film “You’ve Got Mail” in it…well, you start to think it might be a badge of honor to not have a big publisher want your work.
Eh, no, who am I kidding, I still want that book deal. I want it bad.
Did a lot of editing over the past few weeks. Over 90,000 words now. And I have absolutely no idea what is going to become of it.
As naive as this may sound, I think by simply being back in New York, better things will happen. When your surroundings are exactly how you want them, you have the impetus to Get Things Done. When you live someplace that feels like an ally, then it feels like the world has got your back. I can only live.