Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Last Dollar

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."


Carolyn said...

I just wanted to say that I like this piece. It's a remarkably uplifting view on New York on such a confusing day.

The Truth said...

I love this story. It's so New York.