Max and I were living in a small apartment in Hollywood, but long before we even got there or even met each other at a Beverly Hills bar, I knew I was going to move to New York City. When we went to visit NYC for the first time together one December, it became even more abundantly clear to us that we wanted to trade our west side digs for the east coast. We wanted the other side of the coin. Coin being they key word here – but that will come later.
We wrote in giant, black dry erase marker letters – Move to NY in one year; right there in plain view on our bathroom mirror.
We had no idea how this was going to happen, as we had no conceivable idea how a move like that would come to be. He’d moved from Florida to California so I knew he was totally capable of making such a transition, but I was born and raised and southern California and it was all I knew, I’d never lived out of state before. So, while I also was onboard for the move, I was perfectly fine with things going slow enough to where I wouldn’t have to think about really moving for another year.
They say to be careful what you wish for and what you’re calling forth into existence because within 2-3 months, Max got a job offer from a bed and breakfast in the Hamptons in Long Island. HOLY SHIT. THIS IS OUR TICKET.
So the following are the steps involved in moving cross country at the spur of the moment! Enjoy:
Step 1: Make your landlords happy. Cancel the lease renewal you literally just signed for your apartment.
I suppose most would say it isn’t quite advisable to sign your lease renewal in Hollywood just to say ‘jk’ and take it back. After convincing our landlords not to chain us to the apartment, we only had a couple of weeks to make sure we sold everything that we owned. It was time to purge everything and make sure we would only move across the country with very necessary things. This was difficult for me, I didn’t realize how much of a hoarder I’d been until it was time to give it all up. We took a plane from Los Angeles to NYC with only our dog and two pieces of luggage each.
Step 2: Do zero research on what the area you’re moving to is like.
How bad can it be right? Forest, beach, forest beach in Long Island. How fabulous. There definitely aren’t ticks that are going to latch onto your little dog in multiples after your lovely nature walk. You definitely won’t be pulling said ticks off of dog in the bathroom of a nice, fancy Hamptons restaurant – throwing each of the little suckers in the toilet to make sure they can’t come back with a vengeance. Because they’d already tried.
Oh also, Uber is like – totally everywhere. So getting around won’t be a problem at all! Transportation aplenty. YOU WON’T NEED YOUR OWN CAR.
Step 3: Eh, $800 is enough for two people and a dog to last for like ever. Especially in a playground world of the 1% elite of America.
Step 4: Airbnb a place in anticipation of all the money the dude with the French accent said you were going to make.
We will make this $800 last and then your boyfriend will be raking in the dough! The food and beverage director said it himself. Why would he lie, amiright?! Getting an apartment after that to live in for the summer and THEN move to the city should be easy peasy.
Step 5: Run out of money
No Ubers! Oh joy. But they do have taxis that will bring you 20 minutes to town where your boyfriend’s bartending job is from your Airbnb. It costs $40 each way! YES $80 round trip!!! Wooooo! Oh and yep, THAT Airbnb, the one you can no longer afford because you ran out of money because the job isn’t paying what the French guy promised.
Coming back to Brooklyn on the Long Island Rail Road was a blessing for me. I was mentally exhausted from everything we’d been doing; the walking for miles, the fact that we literally put quarters together to be able to afford sandwiches, and the lush, Long Island forest had been blooming which ignited the worst hay fever of my life. I was relieved to be heading back to the city, even though I had what resembled one of the nastiest colds I’ve ever gotten. When we got to Max’s friend Matt’s apartment, he was gracious enough to let us sleep in his bedroom. I thought to myself, ‘This will be fine, we’ll be up on our feet in no time’.
I was correct. I happened to be up on my feet at around 4:00 AM itching unbearably, itching to suppress my inclination to rip my skin off the bone. My face, neck, arms, legs, woke me up on fire and its blaze had me swelling. I sniffled and turned on a light, it looked like large painful bites all over me. But there were no mosquitoes? Could I have been allergic? The pain and itchiness was so bad combined with the hay fever, I wept in Max’s lap at that hour. It seemed like the only appropriate thing to do. So I wept and I wept, wishing we could go back to southern California.
Step 7: Stay with gracious parents.
Shoutout to Max’s mom for bringing us out to Florida to stay a few days while the bed bug thing passed! The feeling of waking up in a bed and not having to be somewhere or trying to do something – that was a feeling of relief like I’d never before had.
We even had the pleasure of exploring the everglades which I never did before. Look below! It doesn’t look like we have no idea what to do with our lives at all!!
Step 8: Get a job.
New York City is a bustling metropolis of possibilities. So we were pleased when Max got a bartending job and I got an office manager job at a synagogue in Brooklyn. Is that you, God?
Step 9: Eat ramen for every meal every day til money comes.
Make sure to spice it up though, you can add things and make it fun and pretend like you’re having different fun ramen(s).
Step 10: Die, essentially.
Become so stressed and angry about finding a place to live, you two scream at each other on the sidewalk during a 90 degree summer day with the sun beating down on you. You both want to prove the other one is wrong, but you can’t seem to find the energy to do it.
Step 11: Airbnb three different places while putting every single paycheck away from said job.
If your one pair of shoes doesn’t fall apart and you’re not just wearing the same sweater every day in the dead of summer, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!
Step 12: Get the apartment of your dreams and cry and sleep together on the concrete floors of it.
We collapsed in triumph. Our four months of stupid, unplanned, insane, ridiculousness – it was over.
Max, our puppy Angus, and I went into our new apartment that we had just signed a lease for. It was still bare and not ready to officially be moved into yet, but we didn’t care. Before we curled up together, the three of us, on that bare floor to have the best nap we’d ever had – we stared out at a view of Manhattan from our living room. We’d dreamed specifically about having big windows, big enough to let all that light in. Just the view alone, us together, and nothing else was not just enough for that moment – it was everything for all moments that existed within that second and beyond that second alike.
‘Fondly’ is probably not the first word I would use when thinking back on summer 2017. We could have done that whole thing a lot less painfully, had we calculated, had we planned like normal folks. I love adventures, but rest assured, when we split our time living here in NYC and Europe, the plan may be a bit more straight laced and thought out.
But I don’t regret it.
We called out a desire into the night sky, at the time thinking it went to deaf ears, and then opportunity arose – who are we to judge the vessel in which a desire or prayer was answered and delivered?
Step 13: Love one another and know if you can survive this and not kill each other, you can probably do marriage
The marriage part will be happening next month. *wink*