I moved to New York City on a brisk Saturday in October. After driving straight through the night in a moving truck, I can remember seeing the New York skyline and feeling a nervous anticipation about what my life would be across that river.
Once arriving, I didn't have much time to think about what I would do in the city since I had to focus on getting the furniture in my apartment and saying goodbye to my father. After spending the day and night with him, I walked with him out to a street corner in the East Village to hail him a cab that would take him to the airport. During a tearful goodbye, he reached in his pockets and shoved several crumpled bills into my hand.
"It's all the cash I've got on me right now," he said. "Good luck. I love you."
In that hand full of bills, one dollar ended up sitting on my desk for several weeks. After securing a job and getting my first paycheck, I was able to relax (a little) in knowing that I just might be able to make it here.
I have kept that dollar and I vowed to myself that if I ever had to spend that one dollar, I would call my parents and say, "Come and get me, I'm coming home." If I had to spend my last dollar in this city, I would cut my losses and move back home.
This weekend, I pulled the dollar out and put it in a picture frame. It now hangs right inside my front door of the little studio apartment that I afford all on my own. Every day, when I come home, no matter how difficult my life can seem at times, I will know that for now, I've made it. I've made it in New York City; and, when I think back on what little I knew about possibilities of the City on that day, I smile to myself and say, "It's more than you ever dreamed of, girl."