So, Matt and I finally made it back to New York. We are settling in quite nicely, and I have wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. Like, work for instance. We only got back last Friday, but I couldn’t wait to get back to my job.
As some of you know, before Matt and I moved to Grenada so he could attend medical school, I worked as a hair stylist in the city for years. One of the hardest things about living overseas was not being able to work. Because jobs are scarce in Grenada, Americans are not allowed to legally work, so I was left to my own devices, which usually included me doing hair cuts in our teeny apartment for other medical students. It actually became a pretty lucrative business, if you ask me, and I managed to keep up my skills as best I could while away for two years.
Now that I’m back in New York, New York, the city that never sleeps, the place where dreams are made…and broken, I was eager to get my groove back, and start wielding those scissors (not violently, just cutting hair) again.
So, I kind of thought I was going to go back to my old routine, without skipping a beat…you know just pop back in where I left off? But I must confess, I skipped a beat, or a few beats for that matter.
The night before my first day back at work, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, having nightmares of over sleeping and being late for work. When my alarm finally went off at 5:30 AM I felt like I hadn’t slept a wink. I got out of bed like a zombie, hurried up and got ready, and managed to down a cup of coffee before Matt drove me to the train that takes me into the city for work.
While buying my ticket for the train, I fumbled, as three people impatiently waited behind me for the train that was to arrive in three minutes. Suddenly I felt like the “out of towners” that I used to get so fed up with back when I was in my New York groove. Back then, if someone was in front of me that didn’t know exactly what to select of the touch screen to buy their ticket, I would mumble something under my breath to hurry them along, and then grunt something like, “Tourists,” as I scoffed away, coffee in hand, scarf thrown around my neck. P.S. I am sorry to any of the people I did this, too. Just know that I got pay back yesterday, and I totally deserved it.
When I got off the train, I walked up to the little coffee stand on the street, where I used to order my uj, a small coffee with vanilla coffee cream.
However, much to my chagrin, the coffee man who used to know me so well, didn’t so much as blink my way. I was really hoping for one of those custard-filled donuts that he used to so kindly give me for free back when I was a New Yorker, but yesterday I got nothin.’
When I walked into work, I immediately saw some of my peeps, and things quickly started to turn around. It was so good to see some of my old friends, and everyone was so welcoming. Before I knew it, I had a client, and it was time to start doing some hair.
Let me just tell you, I only had four clients yesterday, but by the time I was finished I felt like I had run a marathon (not that I would know what that feels like). I was so absolutely exhausted, that it took me all night, and all of today to recover. The pure exhaustion took me back to the days when I was first doing hair in New York, and how I would go home at night and just crash, sometimes still in my work clothes.
While riding the train home yesterday, I began to marvel at the stamina I used to have. Around the time I left for Grenada, I could work non-stop for nine hours, and not feel a thing. I could work a busy Saturday, then go home and go out to dinner with Matt, watch a movie, then go shopping, etc, etc. I was like a fine-tuned machine! I think it’s safe to say, I wasn’t a machine yesterday. I was more like a car that needed some jumper cables.
Despite my elderly-esque exhaustion today, I really feel like I got my groove back yesterday. I survived my first day back to work, after not working for two whole years, and I didn’t get eaten alive.
And any real New Yorker knows that’s an accomplishment.
Photos by elizabeth-aboutnewyork.blogspot.com and pinterest.