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Thomas Wolfe wrote,“One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” I think he’s speaking to the fact that when you fall in love with New York City, it captures your soul instantly and then, consistently, forever. One part of you will always be one foot in your life and one foot searching for the sidewalks of Manhattan.

This is how the drug starts. You love visiting. It’s different, vibrant and alive, but you make sure you reassure yourself and others, “Oh, I love visiting, but I could never live there.” Then, visit after visit, your feet wander through the streets and your mind wonders about possibilities. You become more familiar with this foreign city that cradles so much of the history of a nation. You learn the difference between blocks and avenues and (mostly) how to ride the subway. That’s when the high kicks in, the thought that maybe you could do it, maybe you could figure it out enough to move and build a life in the city that never sleeps.

You start noticing that life exists the same there, just in vastly different happenings. Parents take kids to soccer games in Central Park and reading time at the NY public library. Groceries are bought and carried blocks home and up flights of stairs. The sky high rent becomes inconsequential because if it means you have a closet sized room to dub your own in Manhattan, then nothing else really matters.

I’ve lived in the quaintest little beach town the past four years, completely opposite of the concrete jungle that comprises the city, yet when my heart knew it needed a change, I already had an idea of where it was heading. The realization came with a healthy dose of fear, but sometimes an opportunity presents itself in life that you just have to say yes to.

An opportunity of my work being remote so I’d have a solid job to take to the city. The bonus that the job comes with a FiDi office to work at in downtown Manhattan as well. An opportunity to connect with a mutual friend in the city, who quickly turns into a roommate.

Before you know it, she’s facetiming you as she tours apartment after apartment and you both quickly submit 30+ pages worth of applications and documents within minutes of a showing just to get in the long line of hopeful tenants. Then, you finally land one. “Congratulations”, reads the email subject line and you’re in disbelief that you have a New York address to put down as your primary residence location. Next you’re transferring an inordinate amount of money to some broker, and that two bedroom, 1 bath, four story walk up apartment in the Upper East Side is yours. All opportunities coming together in a perfect storm, to make a far fetched dream your new reality.

So if you haven’t caught on, I’ll be moving to New York City in September and I want to take you along if you’ll join me - sharing equal parts story, logistics and all the adventures along the way. My challenge for myself after my mindset these last few years is this - what if this is the year I took the negative what ifs out of life? What if I just talked about the good what ifs - what if this works out better than expected? What if everything goes right? What if this is the best is just up ahead?

Here’s a very honest prayer of what I’ll be praying everyday in New York, maybe there are words in it that you need too.

God, I know you love me and want the best for me and I’m finally ready to accept that, rest in that, expect it. I’m done expecting that you just rain down hard things in the name of growth, because you’re also the God of some pretty freaking amazing blessings and those are what I want to depend on you now for.

Those are what I want to know your character by, all the ways you can be good to me. And I don’t mean to sound selfish, but you know me, you know how jaded and mad I’ve become deep down - I have stopped expecting and believing that you have good things in store.

In this next chapter I’m going to believe you for all the good, expect all the good and not in a “you owe me way” but in a genuine attempt to understand and acknowledge that you are a Father who gives us good gifts and it’s time I start believing it and praising you for it.

I like this direction Lord, plant these words on my heart and and in the depths of my soul over the next year. Chip away at my heart that has been bound up in sadness, resentfulness, apathy and anxiety. Show it it’s okay to beat again, to feel, to be excited, to show up and throw it’s arms wide open to life and say I’m ready now. Thank you Lord Jesus, that I’m finally ready now. Show me how good it can get.

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