Disclaimer: There’s a minor switch in narrative…just an FYI if you’ve read my prior blogs. I needed to change it up for myself, so I hope you enjoy it too, lovely reader.
The sun‘s rays hit the sprawling metropolis at 4:24 for another Monday morning, where 8 million people would wake up and proceed with life. Newspapers were already replaced with the current print, trash collectors were finishing rounds across the city, and the air was full of the aroma of brewing coffee and baking bagels.
Maybe she could tell you all this from experience if she was awake at that awful hour, but the tall girl was still fast asleep for another hour before her iPhone alarm unforgivingly woke her from her sweet dreams. And when it did, she dutifully got ready for another day on the job in the big city. It was actually one of her favorite things of the day-to mentally prepare and plan the next 16 hours of life while using her creative juices to paint her face with good friends Maybelline and Lancôme.
She left as close to 6:45 as she could, hopping on the C train up to 50th street. There was anxiety still filling her mind from her uncertain apartment situation, but she knew she had to put it behind her for work. Fox expected your A-game at all times, and she wanted to be all-in too, never wasting a moment. The trek from 50th and 8th to 48th and 6th flew by as she praised God for another day at an amazing internship and asked him to fill her with peace and trust that he’d work things out in his timing.
As soon as she set her bags down and logged into her computer, she didn’t have another moment to think about her worries. The day was full of meeting new people and planning for more opportunities. She talked with the beautiful, very pregnant Jenna Lee, anchor of Happening Now, in the green room while getting coffee. She had to add the Riverwalk to her bucket list after Jenna highly recommended it and even told the tall girl to email her if she had any questions.
An email came late that morning from the top of Fox News Digital that she could attend an intern meeting the following morning and pitch story ideas if she had any. Between meeting/greeting guests, the tall girl was furiously editing her old story pitches and creating new ones. No way would she let this chance to contribute to the Fox website get away.
The adventure didn’t clock out that day when the tall girl did, though. Manhattan is the city that never sleeps, and there are opportunities galore for things to do, people to meet, explorations to be made. As she commuted home and got ready for the “Bryant Park Free Movie on the Lawn”, the tall girl reflected on a simple fact, but one that was easily missed in the continuous ticking of day-to-day life: any day can be transformed from routine to “an unforgettable moment”. Eating an overpriced food truck chicken kebab while recapping the past couple weeks with her fellow intern in booking, Sarah, was one of those moments. They’d joined hundreds of others in Bryant Park for the feature classic “The Mark of Zorro”, and as they waited they were entertained by the group of drunk people in front of them as they attempted acrobatic moves and waved a blow-up cactus around in the air.
Anyone can be whoever they want to in New York. There’s no unanimous definition of ‘normal’ when everyone compared to everyone else is their own breed of quirky. Quirky is putting it lightly, when crazy might be a more accurate adjective to use. The New York culture was like a sweet, gray-haired grandma whose arms warmly embraced whoever walked through the swinging porch door. In the city, you could quickly glance at the strange makeup or bizarre behavior, but you would never say anything. If you yourself wore, said, or did anything outside the cultural norm, you couldn’t expect anything less than dumbfounded glances from others. Everyone lived in a blissful state of being who they wanted to be because no one could say anything different.
Indeed, there was something about living in such a populated place. It gave a person energy to try something new, drive to pursue that dream, and it gave men the extra confidence boost of anonymity to call out a pretty girl. And the tall girl was minding her own business walking to work Tuesday morning, when she looked up and caught the eye of a guy raising a construction belt definitely not watching where he was raising said belt. As she passed by, the young construction worker yelled down to her from his spot on the truck, “Have a good day at work, ma’am.” She must have looked stunned when she glanced back at him, still walking to her train, because he quickly assured her, “I’m talking to you, not him, I work with him every day,” pointing to a baffled co-worker, who continued picking up cones and minding his own business. “You’re beautiful!” He yelled to the retreating back of a blushing but elated Fox intern.
Life is full of millions of tiny disconnected pieces that somehow flow together to form who we are, create our ideas and opinions, craft the memories we hold and cherish. Many of these moments never become path-altering, but they shape who we are nonetheless. If that bold declaration from a stranger wasn’t enough, the thought solidified in her mind that it was going to be a great day when the barista at Pret a Manger told her that small coffee was “on the house”. The morning was full of meeting new people around Fox, and she was giddy with excitement when the fox.com supervisor told her in the intern meeting to develop that “Traveling outside the box” story because it could possibly go on the website.
Exhilaration was her constant companion through Wednesday, for she saw John Stossel chatting with a couple of guys on the main floor, passed Jesse Watters in the newsroom, and escorted awesome guests like Katie Keiffer, an author near her age with a heart for Millennials, to the green room. But at the back of her mind the entire day was the event that night; Social Radar’s Launch Party. She had no idea what to expect, for the online invite was ambiguous at best. New $15 dress from H&M, check; black heels, check; stomach of butterflies, check.
The line outside the studio building that night stretched around the corner. Clearly it was kind of a big deal. She jumped in behind the last person, eventually conversing with the guy in front of her, who turned out to work in the fashion industry. When his friend arrived and they were finally let into the party, they enjoyed the club-like atmosphere with a more professional air. The night ended too early at 10pm, but thankfully the tall girl had made 2 great new friends, and she’d reconnected with Shana Glenzer, VP of social marketing for the new app.
Her day off was one of exploration, as the tall girl caught the end of the USA/Germany World Cup game in Bryant Park where hundreds had gathered to watch on the big screen. New York Public Library was next on the agenda, and the museum-like feel was a surprise to the expected shelves upon shelves of books. There were really only one or two rooms of books, and they were nestled in the back corners of the huge marble building. The solo tour was worth it though to cross off the bucket list, even if the room used in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was temporarily closed (the main reason she’d wanted to go in the first place).
The trek wasn’t for naught, though, because sometimes the greatest experiences come unplanned and very unexpected. The tall girl was on 6th Ave, heading back to her neck of the woods at 30th and 8th when a noise to the right grabbed her attention. A mini festival for Cracker Jack’s was pulling New Yorkers left and right to take pictures with the people on stilts and in front of the CJ backdrop, and of course to grab their free bag of Jacks. A moment of shyness at being alone stopped her, but a push of boldness set the tall girl at the end of the line for a picture with the lady on stilts because she knew this was a silly once in a lifetime occurrence. When else would she be at a Cracker Jack’s advertisement festival in Manhattan? The line moved quickly and then it was her turn to take a picture with the striped, stilted woman. She handed her phone to the photo aid, and as she approached the lady, Stilts called out “Finally! Someone on my level, we can talk about this!” Pictures were taken and they laughed, discussing how hard it was to find pants that were long enough. The tall girl thanked Stilts and left exuberantly grateful that she’d followed her gut. It was a small moment, but one that she’d never forget.
The rest of the work week to weekend had some ups and downs: ups being a great day working with her fellow booking intern Sarah on Friday, enjoying Smorgasburg Food Market in Brooklyn with Jason and Kai, (especially the most life-changing coffee caramel ice cream sandwich!), riding the Staten Island Ferry for some awesome city views with an awesome new friend Sawyer, and realizing they had a world of things to talk about with all their similarities.
As great as it is, life isn’t perfect. The downs were few and far between but still present. A certain guest became wrongly upset with the tall girl for an issue that wasn’t hers; plans with a friend kept changing and when they finally came to fruition, the high expectation led to huge disappointment; and there was continued confusion and stress over her living situation. And yet, amidst the tears and worries, she knew deep down that it would all work out for the best. Besides, it was outside of her control. And when she met with her renter Sunday night, amiably discussing the whole thing, the conclusion was made that she’d stay where she was. Her relief felt like a literal subway train taken off her back. Of course that wasn’t without the help of two out-of-this world, amazing parents that the tall girl missed more and more the longer they were apart.
Sunday night at Hillsong Church was a party. The tall girl was praising God for answered prayers, for His all-knowing presence, and for the challenges He sent to teach her lessons of trust and perseverance. Who knew what the coming week would hold, but hanging out with her Best Friend with hundreds of others right before getting 7 hours of shut-eye to do it all over again was the best way to end week three in the greatest city on earth. Maybe she’d even wake up early to smell the bagels.