Three days ago I would’ve done anything to tap my red shoes together three times in order to transport home. Change is always hard, and personally I think it’s exaggerated when you’re doing it alone. At least, it felt like I was on this adventure alone. I have more empathy for people who experience depression regularly now; not because I did during my move to NYC, but I certainly had foggy moments where I wondered how I was going to make it through 8 weeks holed up in that shoebox apartment in a cramped, bustling, uncaring metropolis. And then the fog would clear as the clarity of God’s truth reminded me that I wasn’t alone. It was new and strange in this city, but with him as my guide through it all, I had comfort in knowing he had a plan that was better than even I could imagine. But I’m getting so far ahead of myself. I’ll have to start at the beginning in order to organize my thoughts and memories of this past week.
A week ago tonight (Friday) I arrived in New Jersey with my mom and dad after a fun, 17-hour road trip spanning 6 states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey). I was probably trying a little too hard to fit in compared to my awesome Dad who does whatever he can to stand out (“Hey, we’re tourists, I’ll have a small chili and frosty”). All that to say I was a bit grumpy on our 4 hour Grayline tour Saturday morning, but it was great to get a general layout of the city. Plus, my stand-out dad is the boldest man I know and a shameless networker, so I had 5 new contacts and friends that first day, and he’d be around another couple days!
Well, that leads right in to the highlight of our family adventures in the Big Apple. After (somewhat) enjoying lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where the wait staff sings along with serving, we headed to the News Corp building to look at where I’d be working for 8 weeks. A badge is obviously required to get past the lobby, so as Mom and I were planning what was next on our list for the day, Dad was off asking strangers going in or out of the building if they could give us a tour of it. After being met with a couple harsh rejections that didn’t deter him, Dad asked a great guy by the name of Brian if he could give us a tour since “my daughter’s interning at Fox starting Tuesday”. A nearly 2 hour tour of Fox followed, including being introduced to my boss in Booking. Sitting on the curvy couch (fox and friends, outnumbered) and seeing the control room in action during a show was one of the coolest experiences for me and the parentals.
The bustle of Times Square kept our energy high after that. It’s funny how in that moment I was swept up in everything around me without realizing the importance of the moment to me. It’s just a memory of so many people jostling their way through the crowd, magnificent lights and ads on towering buildings, aching feet from all the walking, and a terrible stench that never quite fades. Now it’s a realization that I had my two best friends with me, and we were having a blast soaking it all in, taking family selfies, and meeting some awesome people along the way.
This is a Dad Tribute along with a week summary because he really did so much to make this time I’m having in New York come to fruition. He was hesitant of my living situation (16 people cramped in a 2 bedroom apartment, 4 bunk beds per room…yikes), so we spent Saturday night searching the web for different, affordable apartments. Sunday we had a likely one, so after rocking out at Hillsong for church/concert, we visited the advertised Craigslist apartment. Not going to lie, it’s scary to be 2 days from your start day at a new job and no place to live. But again, a quick arrow prayer to the Man upstairs calmed the worry with the knowledge that he already knew where I’d be living, so all I had to do was trust him to work it out.
Without excessive details, the apartment worked out, and I certainly have more space and freedom than I would have had in the other situation. Monday was spent moving in, walking through Central Park, meeting my cousin Jason and his awesome girlfriend Kai for dinner, and of course, meeting several more people at these different spots who will be connections for me during my time here.
Then came the Great Shift. One minute I’m discussing with my parents what I’ll do for lunch at my internship, and the next I’m waving goodbye at their shrinking Chevy Malibu down 8th Ave. Let’s leave it simple and say I blasted my music in my apartment that night in an attempt to drown out the too many melancholic thoughts clouding my mind. I woke up at 6 the next morning, got all purty for my first day, and successfully took the subway there, which is quite a feat for this small town girl.
I have so much more respect for Fox News (and for news stations everywhere) after seeing the around the clock work and energy these people put into their jobs. I took for granted the fact that I can know what’s going on in another state, country, continent just by clicking the power button on my TV remote. So much goes into the production of even one show-gathering news stories (I get to do this), writing, editing, graphics, cuts and edits for graphics, verifying details, booking guests and contributors to make the story more dynamic (and this), audio and sound, makeup for the talent, and so much more I don’t even know about. It’s such a hopping place to be, especially when we receive breaking news. There’s this energy that seems to run through everyone and they begin working on Super Speed Mode without losing efficiency. Fox emphasizes always bringing their A-game, and I see that in how they’re calm under pressure as well as being the number one watched and trusted cable news channel.
Tuesday and Wednesday were all about learning the ropes at Fox broadly and each of our positions specifically. There’s been a huge learning curve, and I was blessed with the nicest, most patient group to work with in Booking. Plus they give their interns enough responsibility to feel needed without too much that could jeopardize a successful show.
I toured Columbia University with Jason on Thursday, then we met up with Kai for dinner at this delicious little Thai restaurant. I’ve certainly been enjoying the food in NY; it’s probably the most oddly, subjectively priced, but delicious food I’ve ever had. What I mean by that is this: I had the lunch special of an appetizer and main entree of Pad Se Ew for $8.50, which was obviously a ton of food. Then we gave in to our sweet tooth urges and bought sweets at the infamous Magnolia Bakery where a regular-sized cupcake is $4, a slice of cake is $6.50, etc. But I’m not really complaining, just observing on the randomness of our society. I’m going to have to watch my wallet and belly during my 8 weeks here…freshman 15? Nope, internship 80.
We also toured the American Museum of Natural History for the last hour it was open and saw the whole Dinosaur and African mammals exhibit. I’m definitely going back to see the rest of it though, because we missed the majority of the museum. Then we walked to Lincoln Center and I was able to see where the ritzy socialites go on their weekends for ballets and operas. (Who am I kidding? I’d love to go to a performance…and maybe I’ll get the chance before my time here is done.)
As we were standing there, the topic of Libertarianism came up. The most stimulating, 4-hour conversation ensued. We even were able to discourse with Kai’s liberal roommate about the differences. My mind was buzzing with all the new information and ideas I had after that (maybe the strong iced coffee I’d had at 5 influenced my brain kicking into high gear, as well).
Friday was a great day at work, too. I actually have a fellow intern in Booking who’s so great, and we have quite a bit in common. I’m sure more stories with Sarah will follow. After work I met up with Jason and Kai, and I had THE MOST GINORMOUS PIECE OF PIZZA I’VE EVER SEEN! It was literally bigger than my head. It was my lunch and afternoon snack on Saturday, too. I can honestly say that this experience wouldn’t be half as enjoyable if Jason and Kai weren’t in NY. They’re intelligent, sweet, fun, and funny, and I leave their company a better, more informed person every time. They even articulated their belief in bitcoin perfectly after a couple drinks at the pub & restaurant where we settled in to watch the CIV vs. Japan World Cup game Saturday night (this 20-year old drank water, like the good, obedient citizen she is).
And today is Father’s Day (Sunday, as I finally finish this blog post), so of course a special shout-out to my amazing dad is required. He has encouraged, supported, teased, and loved me more than anyone else in my life. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, from the move when I was 4 years old to Iowa and growing up in that wonderful community, to connecting with the basketball coach at CCU and sealing the deal for me to attend a phenomenal school, and to now, networking with the right people and helping me land the coolest internship and experience I’ve had. He exemplifies a man after God’s own heart, and I’m beyond blessed to have him as an earthly reflection of my heavenly Father.
Dad, I just want you to know I love you. You’re the coolest, craziest guy I know who’s never afraid of life and living it to the fullest. I respect you. And I appreciate you. I don’t take for granted everything you’ve done for me (at least I try not to). So thank you. Happy Father’s Day.