On December 21, 2014, I sat in a laundromat down in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on one of those snowy days that calls for you to wear every layer of clothing you own and pray that the store you’re trekking to isn’t closed “due to the weather.” I had about 2 loads of laundry running with two more waiting to be loaded. Despite the tumultuous weather conditions, the laundromat was packed that day. The Trinidadian lady who owns the shop, she couldn’t be more than 35, was scowling more than usual at the deluge of eager Brooklynites wanting to do their laundry on what she probably thought was going to be a slow day.
It was in-and-out type of day, the second someone’s load stopped spinning, the person who had been waiting the longest would call out to ask whose machine it was (they were surprisingly honorable about this). If the owner didn’t answer within 6 seconds, then their clothes got pulled out and left for moldy ruin on top of the washing machines.
I couldn’t leave. I lived about 5 minutes walking distance from the laundromat, but I knew if I got up and my laundry happened to finish while I was gone, someone would throw my wet clothes on top of the machine and sling theirs in before I would even get the chance to verify that the clothes were mine in the first place. Coupled with the fact that the snow was blowing sideways outside, I wasn’t going anywhere.
I sat there in the plastic orange seat I managed to snag that had a small crack in its vinyl. An old episode of Judge Judy played on the old television mounted on the wall. I didn’t feel like reading at that moment, the atmosphere was a bit too tense for that. Instead, I pulled out my notebook that I happened to bring in case the exact predicament I was in were to happen: being trapped at the laundromat. What I proceeded to write not only passed the time by, but it also changed my life.
Negative #1: I wrote down how I felt trapped in my job and how much I disliked it. My resolve: tell my boss I’m quitting in January and quit by February. Check.
Negative #2: I wasn’t eating healthy foods (because grocery money was nonexistent after I paid the rest of my bills) or much food at all. I felt stagnant, sluggish, and like one huge sloth all the time. My resolve: research a nutrition plan that I liked, prioritize groceries, and stop buying cheap, processed junk food. I ended up going paleo in 2015 and starting exercising 3x/week. Check.
Negative #3: the fact that I wasn’t traveling was depressing me. Travel has always been the bug I couldn’t shake, and as I started creeping into my mid-twenties, I was afraid my opportunity window was closing in. But when you can barely pay rent in NYC, and your job doesn’t understand the concept of vacation time, what is a girl to do? Well, to resolve my lack of travel in 2014, I took drastic measures in 2015. After I successfully quit my job, I gave up my beloved apartment in Crown Heights, sold all of my furniture, and I left New York.
WHAT?! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THE GREATEST CITY ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH?! EVERYWHERE ELSE IS WORTHLESS!!