It’s been almost a month since I made the move from New York City to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. My perception of time has already changed so much, and I’m learning to just stop and smell the roses.
Two years ago all I wanted was to live somewhere new where I could learn to be healthier, meet new people, and do things I had never done before and I can honestly say that’s exactly what I did with my time in New York City. After two years I became a completely different person, physically and mentally.
I was excited about the changes, and wouldn’t have been able to make them if I hadn’t lived in New York. But living in a large city comes with a cost and I was beginning to wonder if it was worth it. After weighing all of my options and being laid off, I decided to take a week to say goodbye to the city. The timing was perfect – my best friend from Cleveland requested a week off of work months ago, I expected I’d be working during her visit, but my new situation allowed me to become her full-time tour guide.
We started uptown at Columbia University, and worked our way down through Times Square and Central Park. We crossed the Hudson and the East River to see the Manhattan Skyline from New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. We walked through the West Village, East Village, Soho, Noho, and Nolita. We ate in cafe’s, shopped at Bloomingdale’s and in Chinatown, we took ferries, the subway, and cabs, we saw weird and interesting performances in Union Square and Washington Square Park, and we almost got robbed by children. It was an adventure to say the least. After a week of fun I was ready to rest and take some time to slow down.
In the weeks before my friends visit so much had changed. Days before a scheduled family vacation to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina my employer notified me that when I returned my position would no longer be my position– I was being laid off. It was scary and freeing news as I was already considering leaving the city because of the cost of living, air/noise pollution, the rough commutes, and the overall stressful nature of life in the city. While on vacation I started wonder what it would be like to slow down and enjoy my time instead of rushing through it.
Ocracoke was the opposite of New York in so many ways but still similar. Unlike New York the community in Ocracoke is close knit and small, yet each summer tourists from all over the world visit for vacation and the faces of the town constantly change as people come and go. Looking for work was very different in Ocracoke than in Ohio or New York, and instead of applying to countless positions online, in Ocracoke you make contact with an employer directly and inquire about a position. With the help of a friend I met on vacation I was able to find work, and a place to live.
The decision was final in September 2012 when I purchased a one-way ticket from Columbus Ohio to Ocracoke Island, NC.
So just as I had done before I packed up and moved. I’ll miss my friends in New York, I’ll even miss some of the places, but after rushing for two years I’m looking forward to stopping to smell the roses more and stressing less.