The next guest post is written by a friend of mine and former co-worker, Katie Makatche. She is a charming, witty, and beautiful young woman. Within the first year (first week) of marriage, she had several major transitions in her life. I apologize to her for the delay in getting her post scheduled! Here is her story…
When Young Wifey asked me to write this post about the start of a new phase of my life, I had to pause for a moment before agreeing to do it. I didn’t know what I really had to share; the story of the last year of my life is not full of tips or ideas or wisdom… it is simply a story; a story that took me three months longer to write than I told Young Wifey it would.
Everyone has events and decisions that serve as a hinge, opening the door to a new stage of life. Some of the more common turning points would be getting married, moving to a new location, starting a new job, having a child, or a death of a loved one. Last July, life decided that I was going to knock out three in the matter of a few weeks: I got married, moved to a new city, and began a new job within a two-week time span. Here is my whirlwind story.
I moved to Selinsgrove, PA in August of 2005 thinking I would not be staying for more than two or three years. Seven years later I was still there, having fallen in love with the town.
When I met my now husband, Tim, in October of 2010, I knew that if he happened to be “the one”, my ideal small-town life may need to come to an end. Tim was living in Brooklyn and worked as a homeless outreach specialist in lower Manhattan, but ultimately planned to attend law school. Central PA couldn’t offer the same plethora of law schools to choose from or the availability of internships and jobs aplenty, so I knew that is where we would ultimately need to be.
Married life has been the easiest transition of the three for me. It is hard for me to believe that Tim and I have only been married one year as of July 28th. There are, of course, lessons I have learned as a new wife:
Where’s the meat? I now ask myself that question when meal-planning
My definition of “neat and clean” is definitely not the same as is his
I don’t miss taking out the trash or washing the dishes every night
The only decision that had been planned months in advance was getting married. We couldn’t nail down New York as our location until we knew whether or not I would be able to get a job in NYC. I started the job hunt in April and found out quickly that school librarian jobs were just not to be found.
Finally, around the beginning of July I got an interview at an Dreyfus Investments for a senior administrative assistant position and was also interviewing for a technology integrator position. The job offer for the administrative assistant position came first and I took it – a textbook “bird in hand” decision 16 days before I was getting married. So, on a moments notice we packed up both of our apartments, found a new place, moved, and I began a new job.
The best way for me to explain my experience at this new job is to contrast it to my years teaching.
Money is not an issue.
The moment that I knew I wasn’t in education anymore was when I walked into a large room designated as the “supply closet” – an endless supply of post-its, notebooks, pens, folders, white-out, etc. It was such an entirely foreign experience from my years in education where I had to decide a year in advance how many supplies I might use and then meticulously filling out the order form for 12 pens, 3 folders, and 1 bottle of white-out.
Change is embraced quickly.
This past year Dreyfus has rebranded, restructured itself, and implemented 3 intense campaigns with different focuses. People at Dreyfus expect change and run with it. I was thinking about this in light of education and wondering why educators as a group (myself included) are much more resistant to change and I think I have stumbled upon part of the answer. At Dreyfus, whenever a major change occurs or a campaign is started it is always accompanied by a compensation plan. If teachers were paid major bonuses for re-writing their lesson plans in a new format or for creating new curriculum you might have teachers feel like their time and efforts were being adequately rewarded instead of feeling like they are being asked to do something that they feel is a waste of their very precious time.
People really do get fired.
In my seven years as a teacher; nobody I worked with was fired. Within one year of working at Dreyfus, six people have been fired.
When people ask me how I like my new job the best way I have found to answer that question is, “It is a very good job in many ways. I don’t dread going into work and it has been perfect for this year, but … to me, it is a job, not a profession.” One thing I do have to say, though, is the location is great – it is in the building attached to Grand Central Station so I get to walk under its painted constellations everyday!
Happily, I will actually be starting a new job in a few days. I was offered a job as a technology integrator/teacher at an private school on the Upper West Side. So excited!!!
The transition to NYC cannot be compared to moving to a new suburb or small town; it is like moving to a new country; life is completely different. Of the three changes, this was my biggest adjustment … and these three examples jump to mind:
I thought I was going to hate the laundry situation in the city – apartments don’t have washers/dryers unless you can pay megabucks. I was dreading the weekly trek to the laundromat, a chore that I have thankfully never had to do since I’ve always had a washer and dryer in my apartments. As it turns out, I love the laundry situation in the city. Tim lugs our laundry in a big, blue Ikea bag to the laundromat, the ladies there wash and fold everything, Tim lugs the folded laundry up to our apartment, and I put it all away. I am telling you, this laundry looks like it was folded by a machine – it is perfect – I could spend hours folding one towel and it would never be so nice and neat, and it only costs a fraction more than doing it all myself.
How could I survive without a car?! In the end I have mixed feelings on this one. I love not driving to work. Spending my 45 minute commute reading a book, napping, or people watching makes for a much more relaxing, not to mention interesting, commute. Running errands here is a much bigger chore because I need to walk everywhere regardless of cold, heat, rain, etc and I need to carry everything that I buy. I definitely miss the days of running errands in the car – driving to Target, popping into the mall, and ending with an epic grocery trip.
Teensy-Tinsy Living Space
I got rid of all my furniture, except my bed, well over half of my clothing, and a dumpster worth of other things. It took me seven years to accumulate everything that fit in my large two-bedroom place; and fill it I did … which I definitely regretted when it came time to purge everything in the move. I do miss having a closet and an attic/basement that I could just keep things in that I barely used. I also miss having room for two couches. Our single loveseat (not even enough room for a couch) is now priceless real estate when Tim and I both want to nap. I do love our little apartment though, and I honestly don’t miss anything I got rid of. I’m enjoying living light 🙂
I will leave you with a few suggestions (not on the typical tourist to-do list) when visiting:
Visit the Cloisters and have lunch on location, at New Leaf, or at Cachapas y Mas
Enjoy a picnic in Central Park, go row-boating, and finish with a Mr. Softee ice cream cone
During the summer, take a night and experience SummerStage at Central Park
Bike for free on Governors Island (Fridays in the summer) and browse the various free art exhibits in abandoned military barracks
Walk along the High Line and finish with a cocktail at La Bottega
Make it a West Village day – wander in and out of the little shops and restaurants – visit Bonnie Slotnick’s Used Cookbook store, The Meadow,Murray’s Cheese, Magnolia Bakery
Spend some time at The Strand bookstore then find a seat in Union Square Park and people watch
Experience the famous Brooklyn Flea Market
Venture to Jackson Heights in Queens (most diverse neighborhood in the nation) and have an eating extravaganza