Musings

All Roads Lead to New York

March 15, 2009

The past few months living in Myrtle Beach have presented a unique set of challenges, and also more of the same ones I’ve been struggling with for the past few years. The biggest issue here, as I’ve written about before on the blog, has been transportation. With everything spread out and a complete lack of public transportation, I’ve been reliant on my bike to get around. It hasn’t been all bad. It’s good exercise, if nothing else. I haven’t much cared for the people here. The South has more than lived up to all its stereotypes, and I’m looking forward eagerly to heading North again. Of course, the issue that has been the same here as it has been anywhere else I’ve lived in the past few years is the constant tightrope wire balancing act of trying to establish myself through my writing while supporting myself through other means until I’ve done so successfully. With the limited job options around here, in a resort community, that’s meant the same thing that it has several other places I’ve lived: food service. It’s everywhere, the jobs aren’t generally too difficult to come by, even in this economy, and you need virtually no experience to get hired, even though I actually have an abundance of it now.

But our lease here will end on the last day of June, which is only three and a half months from now, and I know that the time will pass quickly. Megan and I have our hearts set on New York. When I was forced to leave there midway through 2006, due to being broke and having been unable to find a job, I was discouraged, but also resolute that I would at some point fight my way back into the five Burroughs again. And now when that goal seems, potentially, fairly close to happening, that’s what it appears to be, more than ever: a literal battle against tough odds to stake a claim to my dream city. This time around, the problems are going to be logistical more than anything else. Megan and I, between the two of us, have furniture, clothes, our meager belongings, and the two cats. We have to get them, not to mention ourselves, from point A to point B. We have to find an apartment, in the right area, for the right price, a difficult prospect enough even without the added problem of not actually being in the city yet, thereby necessitating our finding a place to stay while we’re there hunting, and also having a limited amount of time to nail a place down. But all of that pales in the face of the biggest problem: finding jobs.

New York presents the biggest selection of potential career paths, but we’re not looking for careers, either of us, at least not in the short term. We’re looking for jobs, to pay the bills. My goal is still to support myself through the writing, and Megan through the crafting. New York presents plenty of options on both those fronts. But of the other jobs that are available, there’s a little bit of everything, so maybe we might be able to find something other than food service this time. Even with the current economy, the jobs have to be out there. We’ll be arriving in the summer, a time when places are often hiring. With New York’s many libraries, museums, and other cultural centers, something more palatable might very well be out there for us. But finding it will be difficult, again, because of the time constraints and logistical issues. It will be extremely difficult to land a job before actually moving to the city, since we won’t physically be there to interview yet, but if we sign a lease and come to the city without having concrete job options lined up, we’ll be in financial trouble immediately, since the two of us have virtually nothing in the way of savings. It’s kind of hard to save for the future when you’re working in food service. Going to one of the most expensive cities in the country without jobs is a big time gamble. Even though this time Megan will be there for support, the last thing I want is a repeat performance of what happened in ’06, when I not only wasn’t able to find a job, but I left in a state of advanced depression, my nerves unraveled due to internal and external pressures.

If we can’t find jobs before a potential New York move, what are our other options? Megan and I both agree, no matter what happens, we have to leave here. Myrtle Beach has turned out to be a mistake, if not an outright disaster, and we must move on. That’s means another option besides New York then. Where that might be is under discussion right now, but nothing is certain. We’re dead set on New York, and it’s going to take a lot to keep us away. To get back to that city, I’m more than happy to tackle all the obstacles I just mentioned, and any others that come up. It’s my destiny to get back there. That’s where I need to be; it’s become more and more obvious to me. All the publishing houses, the literary agents, the contacts are there. All the other complications I can deal with, calmly, rationally, one at a time. The first step is to get there, just to get there.

It’s going to be a busy fourteen weeks. I’ll be out of town a few times, I’ll be working as much as I can, spending as little as I can, and writing as diligently as I can. I’ll keep posting here on the site to update everyone as to my progress. I can’t guarantee anything right now, other than my ironclad resolve to get back to NY. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions regarding job hunting or apartment hunting in New York, and Brooklyn specifically, don’t hesitate to respond here on the site. I appreciate the continued support, and help anyone can offer Megan and myself as we try to take this next crucial step. More soon.    

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sistah from Anotha Mistah March 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hey Steve.

    Man, I have been there. I came back from PR on a ticket my parents bought- because the school system went BROKE and laid off all the teachers.

    As for finding a job? Craigslist.
    And, call your friends.

    I think every job I’ve had has been either through Craigslist or through connections- people I knew and places I frequent. I know it’s conventional wisdom, but… it’s proven true for me.

    Good luck! please please do let me know when you’re back in the ‘nati.

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