That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 38 (The “Money Got Tight/Moved to New York” Chapter)

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

RallyToRestoreSanityI know this is generally a Wednesday night series, but since this current 52 half marathons project is coming to a close soon, I’d like to just go ahead and knock the rest of these chapters out.

(I don’t want to still be telling this story in the midst of the next fun project (which will be here before you know it). So let’s finish these up. Sound good?)

Picking up from yesterday –

My job was over. I wasn’t going back to school. I didn’t really know what I was going to do.

I knew I wanted to go back east. So, I just went. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were having this rally in Washington DC. I took that as a sign. that I should go and just stay. I packed up the two suitcases of stuff I owned, got a plane, went to the rally with my lovely friend Fareed (who’s been mentioned on the blog before).

I took up a bus up to New York, subleased a place in Queens, and tried to get my life back together.

Checking in with how the running was going – not well. I had a very hard time getting back into a running routine when I’d been in California because all that bouncing around from place to place made it hard to worry about anything other than “where will I be living next month?”

Also, I just had this mental block. On certain days, I’d break through it and be happy with walking a few miles. On other days, if I couldn’t go as far or as fast as I used to (and I never could), I’d end my workout early out of frustration, and admonish myself the whole way home.

Once I got back to New York, I tried to put running as a priority. I started to work out more. I started to improve a little. It was an extremely long process to try to become the happy runner I’d once been. (I am still, to this day, not as fast or fit as I used to be.)

I struggled, but I was ecstatic to be in New York and my newfound happiness made it slightly easier to be better to myself.

The month I got there, I got a job on a cooking show. It ended in January of 2011.

I stretched my money from January 2011 to April 2011. I kept looking for work and just wasn’t lucky enough to get on another show.

I found it hard to regain the work momentum after I’d turned down jobs while being sick. People were starting to realize I was back and offer me stuff again, but you know about those laws of physics – a body in motion stays in motion. In my experience, it was true of my career as well.

As far as living situations during that time – my sublease had run out on that great Queens apartment back in December. I went around to different places, and stayed with some friends. A family took me in for some time while I tried to find yet another cheap place, which I did. I found a place to stay in Far Rockaway. (That name does not lie. It certainly was far).

I couldn't find any of my pictures of Central Park lying around, so here's Bryant Park.

I couldn’t find any of my pictures of Central Park lying around, so here’s Bryant Park.

The more my money stretched while looking for a job, the more luxuries went by the wayside. It got to the point where I wouldn’t take the subway into the city unless it was necessary (for instance, a job interview). I couldn’t afford even a couple of dollars to go enjoy Central Park (which is of course free if you can just get there!).

Of course my running yet again went by the wayside while I focused on basic needs (well, basic-er than running, which is pretty basic in itself). “Today, will I eat lunch or dinner, ’cause I only have enough food/money to choose one…”

Toward the end of April, looking forward to May, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay in my apartment. I couldn’t juggle all the bills I was still paying, plus pay for a place to live. Something had to give. I didn’t want to default on any credit cards. I wanted to pay any and all debts I’d gotten myself into. I guess the apartment would have to go.

This is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?