I get manicures and pedicures regularly, mostly because they’re so cheap ($16 via Groupon) and such a small but lovely way to feel pampered. In Chicago it would have been rare to see me with painted nails and toes; here it is rare to see me without.
I can’t help but say “on line” instead of “in line” (which used to be a pet peeve) and my old way of saying “Florida” sounds all wrong.
East-coast time has become second nature, as though I’ve always been watching the news at eleven o’clock.
I have a big flouncy thrift-store-score handbag, the sort I thought frivolous in Chicago but makes me feel stylish here.
I’ve learned to make bold mistakes. Even natives can sometimes be disoriented coming above ground from the subway; it’s no skin off of my nose if I have to change course after realizing my mistakes.
I’m reading a lot more. Since there’s little to no Internet access in the subways (what does exist is in the actual stations, sometimes, or along 14th Street, sometimes, along the L), I’ve taken to reading, sometimes via apps on my phone (the NYPL — and many other libraries — offers ebooks to borrow) and sometimes actual books. I’m back to my old habits of two or three books a week, which is lovely.
I’m gradually growing into the “me” I always knew was waiting for me. I’ve long since said that NYC was where I’ve felt most comfortable but it wasn’t until moving here that I realized how essential it was for me to leave Chicago. And it’s not that Chicago was holding me back, per se, but moreso that I was holding myself back in so many ways by refusing to leave (until two months ago).
I’m happier. Despite the setbacks and fear and overall uncertainty, I’m happy that after all this time and years of wanting to make this move happen, it’s here. I’m living it. And it’s all good.