Gratitude Day 13

When I was 23, I had a very hard breakup. I moved to New York City, where we were supposed to move together, on my own. I don’t think about the four months I lived there very much or if I do, I think about it in relation to him and how hard the break up was. I, however, actually had a pretty amazing adventure.

  1. I figured out how to get around New York City all by myself. I had just gotten back from traveling around Europe with my ex, but he did most of the navigating. New York I did on my own.
  2. I stayed in my brother’s friends guest room in Montclair, New Jersey. They would invite me out with them in the city. Jon was a professional chef and made me a tempeh reuben that I still remember.
  3. I went to movies at the Angelica.
  4. I took care of myself. I went to tons of Al Anon meetings all around the city. I bought self help books.
  5. I got to spend time with my mom’s cousin, Paul. We went to a diner for lunch and walked and walked around the city, seeing the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
  6. I bought ice blue eye shadow at the Body Shop, covered my whole lid with it up to my eyebrow, and felt glamourous.
  7. My friend Laurie and I went to the Museum of Natural History. We went to bars and cafes, a breakfast diner and an Ethiopian restaurant. We looked for an apartment together and saw one where the subway ran literally outside of the window.
  8. I had a part time job teaching ESL to adults, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. My student, Roberto, had a crush on me. He was so kind to me and would walk me to the subway after class. He bought me a dozen roses on the last day and when I moved back to Ohio, he sent me a huge white stuffed teddy bear. I wasn’t interested in him, but it was so delightful to receive.
  9. I was walking by a random park in early September and saw a performance of the Off Broadway show I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change. I loved it.
  10. I stayed with my Uncle and Aunt in Westchester.
  11. I drank wine from the box in their refrigerator and they took me to a Broadway play (I don’t remember which one).
  12. I took the train to the city each day with my uncle.
  13. My uncle took me to see my Grandma’s grave. She had passed away when I was living in Prague the year before and I couldn’t go to the burial.
  14. I got a job at a company right by Grand Central Station. I would go to this breakfast cafeteria that had the most amazing food, fresh orange juice
  15. Everywhere I ate the food was so delicious. I would stop at a deli buffet that was basically empty and eat the best thing I had ever had.
  16. I loved the newsstands. I loved buying the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly and reading it standing up in a crowded subway.
  17. I loved getting coffee from street vendors in Greek inspired blue and white paper cups.
  18. I learned a lot from the job I got there. I worked at a place called Adam Personnel (which I just looked up and still exists 23 years later) where I spent a lot of time cold calling companies and asking if they needed us to do any hiring for them. That was not the job for me and made me decide to go back to school to become a teacher.
  19. I saw a lot when I was looking for jobs. I went deep into the Bronx for an interview and I saw how the subway gradually changed when I left Manhattan from business suits to a smell I will never forget.
  20. I was heartbroken, but I did it. I had an adventure all of my own in a city filled with brick and fire escapes, fresh milk from the Union Square farmers market, and solid, massive buildings with gold elevators.

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