Our Almost NYC Move During COVID-19 Outbreak

“GOD WILL WRECK YOUR PLANS WHEN HE SEES THAT YOUR PLANS ARE ABOUT TO WRECK YOU”

Less than 4 weeks ago, we were wrapping up our “Goodbye LA” YouTube Video and shipping our final boxes to our new home, in NYC. In fact, this exact blog post announcing our soon departure, read a hell of a lot different, too! Our landlord performed her final inspection to our apartment and the move out cleaning service we hired was set in motion for that weekend, as well. So crazy! We were doing the damn thing, ahhh! What a dream come true.

Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamt of starting off my mornings w/ a hearty bagel & cream cheese, rushing to my subway stop, and riding into the city. A city that encapsulated everything I’ve ever wanted. And I just knew one day, I had to be a part of it. (Thanks Sex and the City)

Growing up in California, you just don’t get that hustle and bustle type of energy. Life moves slower… there’s this gentler approach to getting stuff done. Meanwhile, that East Coast mentality is aggressive, it’s in your face: its that: give no bullshit, take no bullshit, every single f*kn day matters in this expensive ass city, vibe (v much more on brand for my Aries personality). 

And for some reason, during these past few years visiting NYC, there was this gravitational pull into this new way of life.

I’d been in LA for almost 5 years and quite frankly, I was ready for a change. LA is a city that I’d fallen in love with many years ago and though, it’s put me through some heavy shit, it loved me right back. LA made me a mommy (to my bbyboy Shih-Tzu, Troy), it reconnected me with bae, it encouraged me to begin this very blog and soon after gave me the opportunity to quit my corporate job and begin the life of my dreams (doing what I love every single day…(THIS!) My walks around the neighborhood consisted of palm trees lining the streets, blue sunny skies, and the prettiest view of LA, imo! So you are probs asking why tf was I wanting to leave.

Among the other reasons, simply put: I WAS JUST GETTING TOO DAMN COMFORTABLE. This life felt cozy, it felt safe, and over time, (forgive me for sounding ungrateful) it became boring. I did not feel challenged in any way and high-key was feeling complacent and that was beginning to mess with my mental health. The plush routine of it all was repetitive and was no longer serving me joy. In fact, I felt happier almost anywhere else I visited. And I don’t even think it was particular to this city, but more of a ME thing. I’ve moved around all my life. I’ve lived in SF, The Valley, Santa Barbara, Rome, then LA. I def fall into that cliché category of not being able to stay in one place for too long. I need new scenery, new cultures, and new perspectives to stimulate me. And being that my mission is to encourage girls to live thy best life and try new sh*t, I just wasn’t doing that. I needed to feel ALIVE again and the East Coast life, gave me that.

We decided this was it. This was where God wanted us & though it wasn’t easy, it all worked out. We made all necessary arrangements: sold our furniture, managed to fit all of our remaining belongings into boxes, and signed the lease to our dream apt.

(I’ll be working on a blog post – on something around the lines of: “What You Need to Know Before Moving to NYC/Cross-Country – so stay tuned for that at a later time)

But, within days, our seemingly indestructible dream, was disrupted by COVID-19.

For reference, we signed our lease literally HOURS before COVID-19 was declared a national emergency (fml).

W/ every new mandate, new statistic, we tried to work around it. In our minds, “God wouldn’t allow us to make this move, just to place us in danger.” WE HAD TO MAKE THIS WORK! The more we told ourselves this, the more there were signs that indicated otherwise. NYC, the city that never sleeps, soon entered into panic hibernation. I saw the toughest city I knew, now plagued with devastation. But amidst the chaos, we loaded our boxes…we were doing the damn thing! Until moments later, we received a call. I was reminded that my medical history now puts me at risk. But that never crossed my mind, NYC was it for us. Soon after, just as beautifully as our plans came together, was as quickly as they fell apart. God is always working, but man did he really go outta his way to change our hearts. This sudden shift felt like a twisted joke.

So we sat and cried and cried some more. We questioned God, “why now? What are you trying to teach us? If we go, we promise we will act with caution!” But the more we asked these naive questions, the more we couldn’t avoid the signs any longer. Within days, this “dream come true” literally became a fucking nightmare!

Through our loss of control, we believe, God was trying to speak through humility and introspection. So, w/ heavy hearts, we decided to not go forward w/ the move.

(Damn, weeks later and this still makes me tear up, saying aloud)

It came down to moving forward with our dream no matter the costs (and we are talking our lives here) or literally give up everything we had been working towards for months…oh, not to mention: lose out on $6k-8k on already paid rent, deposits, moving costs, etc., risk temporary homelessness here in LA (as we’d already put notice), and SO MUCH MORE, oooo girl, there was just so much more on the line, but that’s for another time!

But at the end of the day, what we were experiencing, was just a sliver in comparison to those truly affected, and my heart just aches for the world. Especially, because, for the first time in our lifetimes do we see the world come together in this collective experience of trauma, grief, and anxiety.

Now, that we are on…what…day 1 million??? into the stay-at-home order, we have felt ALL the emotions. Initially, all we felt was sadness. I mean, that don’t want to eat, don’t feel like showering, not replying to anybody… sadness. Not to be dramatic, but it’s like we were mourning a death. This new life: full of adventure, full of possibilities, one that was literally just HOURS away from coming alive. We sat in a now, unfurnished apartment forced to stare at the 10 boxes that held our entire lives within them. If it were not for a neighbor of ours who flaked the day before our initial move-out, we wouldn’t have the only piece of furniture that did not sell: our bed. (See, I’m telling y’all! God works in mysterious ways) but I mean, this literally gave us more of an excuse to be in bed all day, entirely in our feels because we literally had no where else to go. Meanwhile, we were now fighting against this bull of a leasing company to get our money back.

It just all felt like doomsday all around. As an empath, I feeeel so very deeply. And seeing the death toll rise astronomically within the city just broke my heart. But as days turned into weeks, the sadness soon turned into fear. Because of my high-risk status, our weekly grocery runs (even with proper PPE) would result in massive panic attacks. As the numbers increased, my desire to even go on short walks, decreased. I was and still am scared to death by this virus. To avoid the chaos of the stores, we began ordering via delivery. But then the anxieties of properly handling/disinfecting the goods and produce came into play. I saw those anxieties almost turn into like OCD tendencies when it came to disinfecting. It all just became triggering AF. Poor bae knows to follow the many cleaning procedures I have put in place just to make me feel semi-protected during our outings or even just at home. We have the throwing out the trash procedure, the walking the dog procedure, the receiving PR packages procedure, the delivered groceries procedure, it’s a damn PROCESS but that is our new normal.

I no longer felt like myself anymore. It became harder to articulate all that I was feeling. We went from mourning a life of “what would have been” to now a general grieving of the loss of life as we knew it. So wild. I don’t think anyone in my life would have ever considered me a home-body prior to this experience but I truly, honestly, and genuinely feel like an agoraphobic. I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t want to get some “fresh” air, I don’t want to be anywhere where my life is now put in danger. I love love love life itself but I just am so afraid of risking that all for a simple outing. IMMA STAY MY ASS AT HOME, OKURR. And considering that social media is my job, you’d think, (since I had more down time), I’d take advantage of it and use this time to be productive AF…I mean, it seems like everyone else has. But I just simply don’t feel inspired to create as I did. I’m not finding this pandemic as a window of fun or a time to film: 2 YouTube vids, 3 Tik-Toks, a blog post, or try-on haul. Hell, it took me almost a month to write this damn piece. I feel among the lines of “lazy,” “undisciplined” and “unmotivated,” but I know those are not the words to use. Though, I see so many cute trends circulating, I just feel so damn distant to it all.

Does that make sense? I’ve been stuck in this weird middle ground of acknowledging my privilege of staying home and the blessing of good health but also mourning my ability to be one, care-free with the outside world.

I remember on week 2, I finally had the urge to finally feel some sun and join bae on his walks with our pup. But unfortunately, because of where we live, there is still much foot traffic in the streets so it was NOT a pleasant experience, to say the v least.

And it was on this day, when I had an epiphany.

That night I saw this quote that said, “sometimes God holds you back until the road is safe and clear to continue. Be thankful for the stall! What is meant for you won’t pass you by.

LIKE DAMNN! Is this not so specific to life rn?!?

We were over here initially mourning a life that “would have been” but were looking at it, in a very romanticized frame of thinking. Had we went through with the move, our live’s would be even MORE limiting. We wouldn’t have the luxury of driving anywhere we wanted but instead would be forced to walk, which is like something (as I mentioned) that is a HUGE trigger for me. Hell, not to mention, NYC being THE epicenter of the virus, CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE HOW MUCH MORE OF A MESS I WOULD BE THERE. I truly don’t know how my mental health would stay afloat in this current state. Additionally, I think it would feel like a very restricting life. To know we risked it all, to travel during the shut down, get to NYC to start this “new, exciting life,” just to be stuck in this 500 square foot apartment…BIG YIKES. That would be such a terrible way to begin this new chapter in our lives, OOOO and HELLLLO, how much more at risk I would be every single day! I’ve heard my own New Yorker friends say they miss New York. That right there just puts this whole thing into perspective.

As the weeks now have turned into months, I’ve learned so many things. 1) I’m one strong ass bish for working through all the crazy emotions of this experience so far. For more days than I’d like to admit, I couldn’t help but compare my productivity to others. I felt soooo inadequate seeing so many people “thrive” in this time vs me struggling to do the damn bare minimum. But, again what took me some time to understand is 2) grief looks different on everyone. Some people over function, busy themselves, and complete tasks head-on when facing trauma, grief, anxiety, powerlessness. Some people (MEEEE!!!) under function, slow down, internalize, & need rest. Both are valid and respectable ways to cope. Neither is right or wrong. And 3) though this is a collective experience, this is also a very unique experience. It all comes in waves. No day will feel like the next. Some good days, and some very confusing ones too. And that’s okay! In fact, 4) the most productive days are the ones where I find the peace of “just being”. Not mourning “what could have been,” not mourning “what was,” but actually just being, in the here and now. 5) The inability to follow through with the move was indeed a blessing in disguise. God kept us safe in LA.

To this day, this was the hardest decision I’ve ever made… and then the hardest to accept too, because this was years in the making. We were so careful in our planning of this, never in a million years did I expect our dream to take such a turn. I’d be lying, if I said we haven’t tortured ourselves by watching old vids of us in the city, replaying our NYC playlist, and asking ourselves a million times if this was the best decision for us, (especially now, as states are beginning to re-open). But ultimately, this just wasn’t our time. I find solace in knowing God has a plan and even though it didn’t work out (BIG F*CKING CRY) does not mean it won’t happen…just not right now.

I’m thankful that we’ve been documenting on the backend the “Goodbye LA, Tribute”,  for the past couple months (b roll of LA, our experience with prepping for the move, finding an apartment, etc) but we also recorded when shit hit the fan, so to speak, as it was raw and happening in real time! So stay tuned for a very interesting video!

I am also thankful God spoke to us before it was too late. God didn’t want our new lives to be filled with fear, anxieties, and chaos, if even for just a while. He wanted us to live freely, in his bounty. So if anything, this time has only strengthened our calling to the city. We just can’t wait.

It most certainly could be worse, but it’s hard when you feel so much for the world and then bam, it also hits you close to home too! I just want to say that although, the cases are decreasing, it is still okay to be angry, it is still okay to be sad, it’s still okay to feel all the range of emotions.

Many of our stories are being rewritten right now and it’s scary as hell. But please remember: “NOTHING CAN DESTROY THE PLAN GOD HAS FOR YOU, NOT EVEN A PANDEMIC.”

I can’t wait for the day where we can freely live again. And I most certainly can’t wait for the day where we will, “wake up in the city that doesn’t sleep.” But until then: LA, I am embracing you w/ open arms.

Thank you angels for all the support during this time! Love you all! We are in this mess, together 😭

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