OUT OF AZUSA AND INTO NEW YORK
My first month in New York I was riddled with anxiety and unhappiness. I was quick to notice all its unglamorous traits - the freezing weather, the outrageous cost of living, the rats, the roaches and all the other extremities that come with living in a big city. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it work here. I was unemployed and I was running out of money fast. I was unwelcome by my girlfriend’s landlord, forcing her to basically bribe him into letting me stay. And being from California, I didn’t have the proper clothing to stay warm, and with a sometimes-working heater in the apartment, we were freezing every night!
Things were looking pretty bleak, but the possibility to turn things around all depended on my ability to land a job. I felt a lot of pressure, but I managed to interview for another post production job here in Manhattan. Despite the opportunity, it was still really difficult to stay positive, especially with all the uncertainties lingering in the back of my mind; “Will I get the job? Will it be enough money? Or will I have to go back to Azusa and start from square one?” I began blaming New York for everything that was wrong in my life. I grew more and more bitter as it got colder and I would habitually talk shit about the trust-fund hipsters in the East Village. Meanwhile, my girlfriend was too busy with school to attend to all my whiny complaints, so I just boiled over in a dangerous jumble of unpleasant feelings, all of which eventually started to manifest themselves physically. I searched out punk shows to let out some aggression, while back at the apartment I developed migraines so bad I began vomiting. I realized how much I missed California and how blessed I was to have what I had back home, but then it became clear to me that my problems weren’t a result of which state I lived in, they were a result of my skewed perspective.
It was unfair to blame anyone or anything for my own personal difficulties. And just as chance would have it, I received good news about the job, as if this minor epiphany of mine was the final lesson I needed in order to give way to this fortunate event. At this point I finally felt like I was on the verge of making some significant progress in my life. When I returned to New York, after visiting California for the holidays, I felt a renewed sense of confidence. Suddenly I was able to fully appreciate all that this enormous city had to offer. It would literally take hundreds of lifetimes to experience it all, but it was beginning to feel a lot like home in many ways - at least for the time being.
Aside from my girlfriend and my parents, very few people knew what a personal struggle it was during the later months of 2013. In retrospect it wasn’t so much about moving across the country, but more so a culmination of millennial crises that finally toppled with my decision to move here. It’s truly discouraging to enter a weak workforce with what you once believed would be a college-grad ticket into a solid career. I can’t tell how many hundreds of resumes I’ve sent out without getting a response. I lived with my parents wondering how long my life would follow the pattern of my teenage years - wasting time on the internet, spending my evenings bored with my high school friends, and doing little to nothing with this early phase of adulthood.
I can’t say things will get easier or that things will necessarily get better. There is still a lot to figure out and still a lot to do. I’ve still got the same big filmmaking goals I’ve always had, but its becoming more and more evident that these goals require some serious action. I can only hope that being in this caffeine drenched city will help motivate me to push my ambitions out of my dreams and into reality.
At least now the heat in our apartment works properly and I’m able to support myself out here. I’ve sacrificed a lot to be here, but I’ve so much more to potentially gain. One thing’s for sure though, LA basketball is still way better than New York basketball.