• Madelynne Juenger

Welcome to New York

Start spreading the news…I moved to New York! As of this past weekend, the cozy Queens apartment I’ve been dreaming of for months is finally mine! I can officially say the sentence: I live in New York City! And man, I love to say that sentence. I want to scream it from the rooftops! And from the second story window of my new room! And into this blog post for the world of the internet to read!

I live in New York City!!!

This is something I’ve wanted to say since high school and it feels very surreal to think that I’m able to now. It’s an odd experience to have dreams line up with reality. If you read my post from earlier this October, then you know I’ve been dreaming forever of a future self who exists in the life my present self currently occupies. (Well, geographically at least. I’m still working on the Michelle Obama friendship.) As a person who feels a lot of feelings, I’ve been trying my best to keep the negative ones pushed aside so that my excitement isn’t tainted by the presence of worry. I don’t want to ruin something I’ve wanted for so long with feelings of self-doubt. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past 22 years of life, it’s that change never feels fully good or bad. It’s a weird mixture of both with an extra order of confusion thrown in on the side. So while I’m thrilled to be on the way towards achieving my dreams, there’s also a part of me that’s really hecking scared.

Fittingly enough, my roommate and I were recently watching “Tangled” and Rapunzel summed up my feelings perfectly. Right as she’s about to reach the end of her epic dream chasing adventure, she hesitates and wonders, “What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?”. And I think this is the question that rattles us all right before we’re about to finally receive what we’ve been asking for. For me, I’ve been building up the idea of living in New York for so long, that I worry the reality of it might be disappointing. And for Rapunzel, she’s watched such a beautiful spectacle from her window her whole life, that she worries viewing it up close might take away the magic. (Do you see what I’m getting at here?)

But then the lovely Flynn Ryder comes along and reassures us both that it will be. It will be as magical as I make it out to be. This dream will be as rewarding and fulfilling as I give it space to be. And when it’s done, then the fun part continues: I get to find a new dream.

And then, on my first full day in the city, my roommates and I accidentally stumble upon the New York Marathon. Meaning, we emerge from the subway in Manhattan only to be instantly engulfed in crowds of energetic people holding colorful signs and waving cowbells. Pop music is playing, the sun is bright, and the air is buzzing loudly with consistent cheering. It’s the atmospheric equivalent of an encouraging group hug. And because it’s a dream of mine to participate in a world-wide group hug, this display of unapologetic excitement and encouragement makes my heart melt instantly.

As we zig-zag our way through the sidewalk, it feels like the crowds of people are stepping aside to make room for me to fit my optimistic, empathetic heart right in the spot next to theirs. I know their cheers aren’t meant for me, but it almost feels like they're saying, “Here is a city for you to exist loudly and care a lot. Don’t worry about bothering anyone because we’ll be caring loudly right along with you. Welcome to New York.”

x Madelynne

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