“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
– Haruki Murakami
I was getting my nails done when the rain started falling. The Weather Channel and the app on my iPhone had been threatening for days that a storm was coming, but the warnings had thus far been inaccurate, and so I stopped believing in the forecast. But suddenly there it was, only a few hours before the staged reading of my play War Stories, the reading that I’d been preparing for all week, the reading that was the main reason for my trip.
By the time I left the salon, wearing only sandals, a tank top, and cotton shorts (owing to the hot, humid weather), the rain was coming down in angry, torrential sheets. As I headed out the door onto Broadway, my friend Rachel gave me my first New York rain advice: “Stay away from the curb.”
In truth, I’d been feeling angst-ridden all day, well before the rain arrived. Though my week in New York had been mostly wonderful, there had been difficult moments too, moments that made me question whether I’d made the right decision to move there.
And now, trudging along Broadway, head down, rain pummeling my bare skin and seeping into my sandals, text messages started coming through my phone. Well wishes from dear friends in L.A. that tugged at my heartstrings. The fear and doubt crept in. “What am I doing?” I thought. “I’ve made a mistake. I want to go home.”
Of course, it wasn’t a mistake. The rain stopped. The skies cleared, leaving behind pockets of fog that wrapped themselves around skyscrapers and leant an air of magic and mystery to their ascent into the heavens.
And the reading I was so worried about? It was great. Better than great. Friends showed up. The actors who read the script were wonderful. And the post-read audience Q & A was practically painless, free from the incisive East Coast critiques I’d been fearing. It turns out that people in New York – or at least these people in New York – liked War Stories. They liked it more than I thought they would.
Later that evening, sitting down to a tapas dinner in an elegant, delicately-lit restaurant in the West Village, I asked the friends who were gathered there to go around the table and explain how they knew me, as a way of introducing themselves to each other. And as they did, I realized that while I don’t know a lot of people in New York, the people I do know are pretty spectacular. And I’m damn lucky.
I am lucky in a lot of ways. I’ve had a big life. I’ve lived everywhere from L.A. to London, Anchorage, Alaska to enchanting small towns in the Pacific Northwest. And I’ve traveled to many, many more beautiful places. And now, I’m preparing to pack up my life and move to the most exciting, maddening, terrifying, exhilarating city I can imagine. And when my friend Maeve, an opera singer who I once performed with in our high school choir in Olympia, WA, announced, about me, to the table: “You’re ready for New York, and New York is ready for you,” I knew that she was right.
I know that nothing in life is permanent. Things work, and then they fall apart. The parts of my past that are wonderful and are over are chapters of my history that I still own, just like I own all the bad and tragic parts too. Nothing is black and white. It’s all bittersweet. And it’s all beautiful. Because it’s all life.
Last week, I was reminded not to worry so much about where I’m going, but instead, to lean into this moment and give it everything I have. I was reminded to breathe and to trust that there are forces bigger than I am at work that will support me as long as I continue to believe in myself. And I was reminded that though rain is an inevitable part of life, the sun always pushes through the gloom eventually, making everything lovely again.
Until next time, friends.
Wow! Best of luck in your new city!
Thanks Tamara! ❤
well done – its will all be wonderful, you’ll see!
Thank you! From your lips! ❤️✨❤️✨
This is great beauty to behold’ Sarah’ Your spirit is immense as it is beautiful, and New York is damn lucky to have you. As always Sarah you’re one of the best spirited Writers I have known. I think what I would miss the most in Moving to New York would be the Sunsets into the sea.
‘And Now that you’ve arrived, start with discovering your places of pampering, where your desires must go’ and explore as many gourmet chocolate shops that you can discover. (not find) but discover’ as New York’ is an enchanted yet grounded place of your souls’ discoveries’. And then discover the coffee houses, and the tea houses, for surely there must be ‘high – tea in New York City’ and do not worry about calorie counting, your’ going to walk your lovely heals off’ in New York. And to say’ oh are there some elegant hats for you in New York,
‘if I may say unobtrusively and with all respect, I’ll never forget you stunning image of your wearing Black and Purple, Elegance and beauty is by far an understatement, so in that’ what I am saying is that you’ll stun those New Yorkers’ Sarah. Live Life well, cheers and congratulations upon ‘The new reading of ‘War Stories’, as well upon your present and future endeavor’.
You flatter me, my friend. Thank you, as always, for your incredibly kind words. As I’ve told you before, you’re a poet. I always look forward to your comments on my posts. Cheers!
Extremely glad to know everything turned out to be great and fantastic.Congratulations to you.Wishing you all the best for your new city!
Beautiful and very moving post. Best of luck in your new city!
Aww thank you! I appreciate that!
Its all gonna be wonderful, writer 🙂
I believe you. 🙂
Nothing like hearing your words spoken to an appreciative public. Good luck in NYC!
Awesome post and love the vibe! Looking forward to following more.
Thank you for this post. I needed it 🙂 Build your life in New york, taller than the skyscrapers!