When I got to New York, the world was spiraling into chaos. Everything closing, going into lockdown, quarantine, none essential trips discouraged or forbidden.
This was an interesting situation to be in for someone who had next to no bearings of where she was, or what was where.
Back in early March, I could never have guessed how strange something as simple as grocery shopping would feel. My world shrunk to four walls, and I half convinced myself that was all there would ever be.
Eventually, I ventured out to the little corner store across the street. Even that felt overwhelming.
After being back in the office and adjusting to having a commute, I gathered my strength and expanded my map to the CVS down the street from where I work. That felt like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The thing with being somewhere foreign without being able to get your bearings is that you don’t get a chance to start drawing that new map in your head that reminds you of your options, grounds you, and helps you break out of unhealthy routines.
Well, I’m proud to say my map is slowly but surely filling in each time I venture a little farther outside of the fishbowl world I built over quarantine.
So far this month, I’ve walked to Crestwood, gone out almost every weekend to my favorite spot at the park, and took the train to Bronxville for the first time.
And folks, when I say I nearly cried when I discovered there was an ACME within walking distance from the station…tears of sarcastic shame, “A real grocery store? Right here? IT’S BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME?” I was understandably kicking myself for not having looked around more when I was in the throws of Progresso soup and oatmeal every day for over 3-months.
This discovery may not seem like a big deal to those who have not been trying to piece together a well-rounded meal plan between a closet-sized corner store that charges a debit fee and a CVS that only sells road trip snacks. For me, though, it’s a considerable upgrade and a huge relief to have such a luxurious resource in reach.
Being able to walk into a store and invest in the resources you need is a life-altering privilege, and I will never take that for granted again.
My mental map of Westchester/Eastchester NY is filling in, one outing at a time. Sure, I may get lost sometimes and have to wander around for a bit until I regain my course, but it’s a small price to pay for a well-filled out map that reminds me to look up, get up, and learn something new.
My explorations are not grand and flashy, as you can tell. I’m not dashing about the streets of Manhattan or anything.
But there’s a thrum and pulse in Westchester that aligns with my own in ways I hadn’t expected it too. We’re learning from one another, and I’m so grateful to make its acquaintance.
It’s important to look around and try to see what’s around us in new ways; you may be surprised by what you find.
That’s it for my little update. This month is an extra dose of hectic at work (we’re welcoming two new team members!) and I’m keeping my head above the water.
Thank you for reading!