It’s almost midnight. You are flipping through a stack of flash cards for what feels like the tenth time today, simultaneously studying for three exams rapidly approaching within the next 7 days. Your body is exhausted from the consistent 4 hours of sleep you get nightly plus your daily commute which totals close to 2 1/2 hours. All you wish to do is focus on your school studies but you have no choice but to continue to work full-time to barely support yourself in a city with ever-escalating expenses. You haven’t spent time with your friends, outside of work, in over a month. Speaking of work, you consistently feel the urge to strangle every uppity customer that talks down to you solely based on the fact that you are the one “serving” them their cup of coffee. And whether or not your coffee shop will still be in business when Spring rolls around? Well that is doubtful. You haven’t been to yoga(your absolute favorite form of therapy in the whole wide world) or even the gym in several weeks; ages really. You have definitely packed on a few extra pounds due to some recent stress eating. Not to mention the ever-growing pile of laundry that you just can’t seem to ever find the time for. You are fighting off all those angry thoughts that living in this chaotic city can sometimes create, especially every time you transfer at Union Square to a sardine-packed 4 train. You haven’t been home to see your family in 9 months and all you want is one comforting hug and a re-assuring “it’s going to be okay”.
You suck it up. You breathe. You let all the negativity go. You move onward, always forward. It’s called sacrifice. You do it because you believe you can. You do it because you want a better life and you sure as hell deserve it. You do it to make someone proud even if it is simply yourself. Most importantly, above all, you do it because you feel a passion inside of you so incredibly strong that you are convinced you were meant for greater things.
Years from now you will no longer be that girl behind the counter at some random cafe. You are going places. You will have everything you’ve ever dreamed. And more.
And at the end of the day before you finally drift to sleep, you glance out your window to catch a glimpse of the city skyline twinkling from afar. You remember what you came here for and what you are willing to do to achieve that. The magic of the city keeps your dream alive.
Last night, as I approached the last full block of my walk home, I met an older gentleman on the corner. He reminded me to watch for traffic as I crossed the street. Upon further conversation, I learned that he is a bus operator and has lived in this very same Bushwick neighborhood for some 25 years. We discussed schooling, safety, technology, perception and even Sociology. His name is Eric and I am grateful to have met him.
A great portion of the time, I am engulfed in whatever music I am listening to. This is not to say that I do not pay attention. I am highly observational. But I desire these types of interactions and live to hear other peoples stories.
Sociology specially fascinates me. Although I am merely in the beginning of my academic career, I see big things for the future. It’s exhilarating to say the least.
Recently I’ve learned that all these years, I have really been missing out on the camaraderie shared among classmates. There is something quite strong about sharing your goals with others while studying/researching the same subjects. This feeling isn’t easily matched except for maybe between the people you work with. It’s a special bond. It feels nice to have that again. I’m being exposed to a vast number of things. New relationships are being formed.
College full-time on top of full-time employment is demanding but I enjoy the busyness of it all.
Life is good.