Last night, I didn’t sleep well. I tossed, I turned, and of course I felt it was the perfect time to contemplate the state of my life. None of that mattered when the alarm went off at 7 AM. Today, there was no room for tears. I did my obligatory Instagram morning scroll and noticed as if on queue, my internet was no longer detected. Clearly Verizon was saying "it's your last day here - we are out!" The task master in me switched to "go-mode" (as if I have another mode) and the mental list sent me running with about five minutes to spare. Leaning up against the counter, I silently stared through the window, out to the city scape - my daily reality and reminder of where I live.
And, then I realized, it's happening...you are moving today.
Since I was 17, I've moved once and many times twice a year. If you add it all up, I am certain I could have my own Home Depot shipping section and U-Haul trucking center. Through the years, I've had the grace of family and friends help me. But, if you get them alone, they will share the countless war stories of walking up flights of stairs with paintings, bikes and bins of shoes in tow. After my numerous moves in New Jersey high-rise buildings, I vowed to never move my own shit again or beg someone to do it with me. Despite my Type-A personality to jump in and begin loading the truck myself - I welcomed in my movers. They assessed the space and boom, as if they've done this before - we are off to the races.
I patiently sat on the countertop, observing my movers furiously packing up my New Jersey residence. I found it fascinating how quickly the contents of your life can be whisked away into boxes, blankets and become buried into a truck. My heart began to beat a little faster as the pace of their packing picked up....it was happening so quickly. I thought I had processed this during my sleepless night. As I watched the boxes quickly disappear, I heard that damn voice in my head.
It's happening Jacqueline. You are moving today.
The lead mover told me their business is busier than ever and he's had no days off since Covid. "I'm not surprised." I told him.
Pre-covid, the city was my haven. It was a place for fun, exploration and adventure. Living in Jersey City, I was able to jump on a train in five minutes. As a single female the city was full of first dates with strangers, drinks at dark, beautiful bars, and random strolls with dates through the floors of the Met. Whether I was exploring a random sex shop or making out with a date on the street, in the city there was acceptance for whatever your flavor of fun. It was a place to get lost in; try a new cathartic workout, meditation technique or shop an unknown one-off designer. There was an energy that came with walking and breathing in the city, which kept me here for as long as it did. As I confidently dominated the streets of urban life, there was hope and possibility that felt just within reach. New York City made me feel like somebody, even though I was nobody.
Covid stripped that away within a moment and forced me to ask myself the question I never wanted to face.
Why am I still here?
After sharing my upcoming move with friends, I found out I was a month behind and a month ahead of some other friends doing the exact same thing. The mission...abort the city. Today, my mission was realized.
It's happened. Jacqueline, you've moved.