Taken on the Williamsburg Bridge
This post is long overdue. And it isn't like I haven't had time to update you. Though I have been exploring this beautiful city almost every chance I've had, there comes a time when the blisters on one's feet must take precedence. I've rested, I've watched Netflix and read my book, I've had time to kill. But I haven't documented my life here. I had imagined myself at home, with my external hard drive, familiarity surrounding me as I typed these words, but that is not the case. Thanks to storms visiting NYC and North Carolina from all over the globe, I am at my cousins' in-law (I think that's the most accurate description) house enjoying some Northern hospitality and waiting for a flight to the City of Oaks. I digress. It's time I update you on my New York City adventures.
I don't even know where to begin. This wasn't my first visit, but it was my first visit on my own, without my family, not at Christmastime, and without a strict itinerary. Experiencing New York has been incredible, but in none of the ways I expected. One gets these ideas about a city, especially one so consistently referenced and depicted in movies and on television. Almost all of these stories are lies. Almost all of them are filmed in California on small, fake sets. They're beautiful, but fictional. And I don't think that makes them better.
This city is beautiful because it's true. I have enjoyed it so much more because the stories I've been fed aren't everything. I've had the opportunity to form my own opinions and have my own experiences. I haven't met any "close-talkers" or cosmo-drinking girlfriends. I haven't seen any pigeon ladies or stoop kids (though I can't help but laugh when I do see a kid on a stoop). I'm sure many of these characters were inspired by real people, but I've been able to draw my own conclusions. I've heard languages from all over the world. I've met people with more accomplishments than I've ever dreamed possible. People who know those stars on TV and who they really are. And I've learned that those apartments that the sitcom stars rent would be ridiculously expensive.
I've learned while being here that the Lord does not work in the way you expect. I knew it before, but boy do I know it now. I'm not sure of what I thought would happen when I arrived here, but it was something along the lines of me walking out of the airport and Jesus descending from the clouds saying "Welcome, Makena. This is where I want you to be!" I would proceed to land a job in 1-2 days, find the perfect apartment, the perfect friends, and live a life of wonder and joy every second of every day.
Needless to say, my experience was very different. Instead, I unknowingly entered a cloud of confusion and indecision not long after arriving. Because I was expecting such a sure and clear "yes," I had no idea what I was feeling when I heard no answer at all. But after walking 50 blocks, I remembered something. We are not called to be comfortable. Sometimes this means moving to a strange place that is nothing like you thought it would be. Sometimes it means living without air conditioning and throwing up at a train station in the middle of nowhere (I'll explain that another time). Romans 8:28 clearly says that there will be beauty, but sometimes you have to look a little harder. The Lord is preparing me to get rid of expectations. To be flexible and willing and to be OK with being uncomfortable. I'll tell you right now that I'm very far from reaching that level, but He is showing me that it's time I learn to find contentment in every situation, no matter my comfort-level.
I hope these ramblings made sense. I plan to post more photos and tell you more details about the adventures I've had. But I needed to tell you this first, as a sort of preface. Until next time.