If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere


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Despite however else anyone's using this Life Stories and Blogs section of the site, I've made the executive decision this is how I'm going to use it.... I hereby decree this thread my "journal" on this forum, so this is the thread you'll see me add life updates to and whatnot.

Feel free to jump in any any time if you spot something interesting I've said and want to ask questions, offer encouragement, insight, or just want to say hi.

So, I guess the best place to start would be an introduction... because hell, might as well.

I'm Nikkiana. I'm 25. I was born and raised in New Hampshire. In June 2009, I relocated to Brooklyn, NY to take a job in Manhattan. I've identified as poly since September 2008, though I had identified as non-monogamous prior to that... but that's a story for later. I've been married to a fellow for 3 years that I've been involved with for 7. I knit a lot. I make websites for a living. My drink of choice is Bulliet Bourbon.

My cast of characters:

DH - My husband (the abbreviation is for Dear Husband). He's currently an unemployed (but looking) nerd who likes video games and a bit of a hobbyist engineer.

Dino - The would be boyfriend if he wasn't long distance. Was my boyfriend from February 2009 - September 2009, we decided that an official LD relationship wasn't what either of wanted, but we're still very close and when we're together not platonic. I don't imagine it will be like this forever, but for now it's lovely. We met originally on OKC.

JD - My best friend, FWB and neighbor. We met online originally because we worked for the same company (everyone worked from home), and kept in touch even after we moved on. Then worked together at two more companies. He moved to NYC the month before I did, when I subletted where I lived was within 2 blocks of his sublet. When it was time to find our own apartments, we ended up getting apartments that are less than 500 ft apart door to door.

Orange - Bluntly, he was a one night stand of the best sex I have ever had (and my first introduction to BDSM) that turned into a good friend. He's worth mentioning because he's awesome.

The other important factoid that's not worth a huge drawn out explanation right now: the move to Brooklyn occurred incrementally. I moved in June with two suitcases full of stuff so I could start my job. DH didn't move until September. I spent June - September going back and forth between NYC and NH.

So, that's where we'll start. I'll probably have something more interesting to share when I'm not being beckoned to go crash for the night. ;)
It's raining once again in NY, and my bedroom ceiling is leaking.... again. Supposively they were fixing this yesterday, but it doesn't seem like it took. Sigh. The leak seems less severe than when it rained last Wednesday though...

It's a quiet day here, DH is off at the hackerspace he hangs out at so I'm enjoying a little bit of alone time... working on doing some unpacking and reorganizing. We moved to this apartment in September, and it's been a really slow process to unpack. Partly it's due to a lack of storage and a lack of funds due to only one of us currently being employed... The move was expensive and in retrospect, there was some furniture (bookshelves and such) that I probably should have kept rather than trying to buy once I got here. Thankfully, Christmas is coming and both sets of parents have expressed interest in giving us money to go towards furniture. I will be soooooo glad to get the books and the clothes out of boxes! For now, it's just getting some assorted odds and ends out of boxes and into all of my baskets. Baby steps, baby steps! :)
Right on Nikkiana! I love reading this level of sharing and following the stories of others. Thanks :)

Thanks for your support, everyone!

Three of my coworkers are in a band, so last night DH, five of my other coworkers and I ended up going out for the show. It was really nice to get out of the apartment... I've been cooped up sick since last Wednesday, and it's been wicked cold so my desire to even run out to the store like I normally would was none. I was pleasantly surprised how many people from work came out to see them play too, I was only really expecting two or three of us that live in the neighborhood.
Don't mind me.... I'm just dumping out parts of my story in not-so-chronological order as I feel like talking about them. :)

So.... How'd I end up in NYC....

Work wise, I'm a front end web developer mainly specializing in work that involves the open source content management system Drupal. The majority of my career I've worked from home. I worked for a couple of small web dev shops that's workers were spread out all over the world. This is par the course for many people who work with Drupal. I'm having a difficult time finding the words to explain, but I guess in general, people who meet through the Drupal development community tend to become really good friends, and people who've worked together either at the same company or on the the same project together and end up having good working relationships with each other tend to bond and stick together and want to work with each other more. We tend to start out as online friends working on the same project, we all meet in person at various Drupal related conferences and events and learn a lot and party hard, and stick together basically. It's a very networked together kind of group.

So, basically, that's how I met my current boss. She and I worked together at the second web dev shop I worked at for about four or six months (I can't remember now) and we worked really well together, she lived in NY and I was in NH and I came down to a few Drupal events in NY and stayed with her so we became good friends. At our old dev shop, we did a few projects for the company we both currently work for and she ended up being approached for a job there and left, and within a few months ended up in charge of the dept I now I work in... Meanwhile, I was beginning to not to so great at that dev shop... They were nice people, but my working style just didn't seem to gel well with anyone else there once she was gone.... Frusterated with the situation and not sure what to do, I vented to her and she offered me work on the spot. At first, I came on as a freelancer. To go full time, I'd have to move to NY, and while I would have dropped everything and done that, DH wasn't into that idea... so I stayed put in NH. My boss would every so often remind me that I could come on full time if I moved to NY, but I always declined.

Every so often I'd get bored with working at home, so I'd come down for a week and stay with my boss and her poodle the size of her apartment and work from the office. It was nice to be around other people who did the same sort of work as me, and in general gave me a better feel for the projects I was working on, plus... it's just fun to be in the city and be among friends. It was isolating working from home.

Last May was one such time... I decided to come on a trip to NY because another friend from the Drupal community that I hadn't worked with but had become somewhat friendly with was having his 30th birthday party celebation, and if I could expense a trip... why the hell not?

This was the trip that changed everything.

It was a whirlwind of activity. I was working like crazy. There were other people who are on our team that work remotely in town at the time, so it seemed like every night we were out and about and partying. I felt like I bonded with the people I worked with a lot more in this trip than in previous ones.

And.... outside of work (I guess... kind of?).... I met JD in person.

As mentioned in the cast of characters, JD and I met originally because we worked together. We worked together the most at the first web dev shop I worked at... He worked briefly at the one I'd worked at with my current boss... We worked together at his own failed attempt at a web shop... but somehow when we were actually working together, we never met in person. He had just moved to NYC, and expressed interest in getting together to finally meet when I said I was going to be in town. We talked all week, every night saying we'd do something and then he'd back out... The last night I was going to be in town, he admitted that he was totally broke so that's why he kept backing out. I told him to knock it off, I was taking him out to dinner.

It ended up being one of those evenings that kinda blindsides you with how it went... We went out to dinner and started drinking and started discussing just about everything that had happened in the three years we'd known each other online. We talked about the bad times at work (we went through some pretty stressful stuff together), we talked about what was going on at home concurrently with that. We talked about his divorce. We talked about my open relationship. Dinner ended, and we still weren't done so we ended up going back to his place, continuting the discussion, ended up watching a movie and ended up in bed.

Yeah.... I wasn't expecting that!

In retrospect, it was kind of a bizzarre experience. While I was (and am) certainly attracted to JD, the energy between us has never really been romantic per se.... more like long lost kindred spirits finding each other.

The next morning, I had to go to work and then at the end of the day bus back to NH.... and it was quite literally one of the hardest days to get through. I did NOT want to go home. When it was time to say goodbye at the end of the day, I was bawling my eyes out. I did not want to get back on that bus. I wanted to be back in that office the next Monday.

When people ask me why I moved here, I always say the job, the job, the job. It's not exactly a lie, it certainly is what made it possible... but for me, it was the friends... most of which happen to be or have been coworkers.... and it would be a bold face lie to say that JD didn't tip the scale firmly in favor of moving (despite the fact that I hate admitting that... I feel silly for it, in fact).

To be continued....
I'm having a nice quiet night. Husband left to go back to NH for the holidays yesterday because he was bored of being in NY (and from the sounds, now he's bored in NH!). I went and spent some time yesterday with JD, and we had dinner together and knitted on the couch for awhile. Tonight, there was a work party (first of several, it would seem) so I had beer and pizza and socialized with coworkers. Been feeling a little introspective lately, but having a hard time writing... so, I've been quiet. :)
Good grief. How can you be bored with NY? :D I would move there in a heartbeat if I thought I could get work - and never be bored a minute.

I'm enjoying your blog/thread Nikkiana. Thanks for sharing with us.
Good grief. How can you be bored with NY? :D I would move there in a heartbeat if I thought I could get work - and never be bored a minute.

I'm enjoying your blog/thread Nikkiana. Thanks for sharing with us.

That's pretty much what everyone's said.

Husband's struggling with the transition. Truthfully, it's not an easy one, even in the best of circumstances. He's struggling to find a job, struggling to figure out even what he wants to do with his life, fairly depressed... mostly about career aspirations and money... that on top of moving from a rural area to one of the most urban areas in the world... it's tough.
I can relate. I lived in NYC in my late teens and early 20s, and it was a blast. There was always so much going on, and so much to do.

I did often feel alone, though. The city can be overwhelming at times, especially if you feel lost to start with. I also came from a rural upbringing, and understand the transition. Going to the same places in the city regularly helped me feel a sense of community, even if those places were far apart.

Hang in there, both of you. We're rootin' for ya. ;)
Yeah, NY is really funny that way... There are sometimes when I feel like this place is the most connected in the world... I have NEVER EVER EVER experienced community the way I have since being here. I talk to my neighbors. I hang out with some of them. We share food and spirits. It's a blast.

Yet, other days it's horribly isolating... Like, everyone's so busy that they don't have time to spend with you.
It's been an interesting weekend overall...

Friday evening started out with the plan of going to a whiskey tasting with one of my coworkers, but when we got there the whiskey tasting was over.... but they had a cognac tasting going, which was very yummy. We then went to a craft fair and I started my Christmas shopping. When I got back to the hood, an impromptu Christmas gathering was starting at JD's apt with our neighborhood crew (there's 5 of us who hang out regularly). Drank some whiskey, played some video games and talked... Then they decided they wanted to go out.... I resisted but they dragged me out anyway, but I couldn't get into the bar because somewhere along the line recently, I must have lost my ID. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! The whole situation was kinda awkward because I was upset and frustrated and just wanted to go home, so one of my friends rode with me in the cab home because I was so freaked out.

Then, yesterday I went over and talked to JD about the anxiety attack I had the night before... I was more embarrassed than anything else. Then another friend of mine came over and we watched TV and he ended up spending the night sleeping in my recliner because he didn't want to trudge home in the snow.

I was all set for a quiet day by myself today... but shortly after my friend left, JD calls me asking if I want to go get some coffee. He was supposed to leave this morning for FL, but his flight got cancelled so he's still here... so now I'm just bumming around home for a bit, and then he, my boss, and I are supposed to go see yet another friend of mine play some jazz tonight.
I'm back home for Christmas... For the most part, I've been enjoying myself. I bussed up on the 24th and had some alone time with Dino and spent the night outside of Boston.

On Christmas Day, we drove up to my parents in NH and had a pretty wonderful day. Opened presents, had dinner, went upstairs and had a wonderful cuddle with Husband and Dino, and just hung out mostly. Dino ended up spending the night, and it was so much fun... kinda like a slumber party. So much fun.

Today my best friend from childhood stopped by for a visit, which was very nice.... and then my in-laws which I wasn't so thrilled about... and then Dino went home. Been sorta on edge since the in-laws where here.... I had really wanted to go out and do my own thing around the time they showed up, but then couldn't... so I ended my day kinda drained and not wanting to do anything but at the same time wanting to go out and do something.... I hate that sort of conflicted feeling... Nevermind feeling a little culture shocked... Evenings out start soooooooo early here. It's 10 PM and I feel like I should be getting ready to go out instead of sitting in my PJs and posting on a message board.

Tomorrow we're supposed to be going to the inlaws to see BIL and SIL and our niece, which I'm only quasi looking forward to...
This trip has mostly been a bust. Husband, my father and I all got sick yesterday with slightly different things. Husband and Dad both had tummy trouble, but didn't seem to get sick the same way and within 24 hours were fine, and I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and congested and swearing it was head cold round 5. So, we didn't end up getting to see BIL, SIL and our niece after all, which I guess I'm a little disappointed about but honestly, I was feeling a little socially worn out in regards to family.

Friend wise, I didn't feel like I got to see anybody. I talked to a bunch of people on Facebook, and YGirl invited me out for roller skating, but none of it ended up panning out because I wasn't feeling well...

I go home tomorrow night, bus leaving at 8:30. Going down around 4 so Husband and I can have dinner with Dino before I leave. Husband's staying in NH a little longer to get everything worked out with selling the car. Going to be very glad to have that expense out of my hair soon!

I'm looking forward to getting back to NY. I've been feeling a little flustered this trip because of my computer situation. My Macbook's battery died about two weeks ago, and that's normally what I tote around... I have a Dell Mini, which is what I've been using this trip, but it's awful to type on so I've been alternating between using Husband's laptop and Dad's desktop... which I don't really like doing because neither are my computer. So, I'll be glad to get back to mine!
Yep. I'm sure I'll be back in the near future. :)

Ended up being an ordeal getting home. Ugh. After I'd been on the bus for about an hour, I get a call from my landlord (at 9:30 PM) saying that they had to change the lock on the front door of my building because it wasn't latching properly and he wanted to know if I was in town to pick up the key, and I said I wasn't going to be back until 1 AM which didn't work for him... so I ended up calling up my boss and staying the night with her.

If there's one thing that I'm utterly annoyed with our landlord about, it's proper notice about these sorts of things...
Hey, at least the front door locks! He could have left it for another time and the place could have been broken into inside.
That's my feeling on it... I'd much rather be locked out overnight than to have soemone break in. A lot of people I told about the situation kinda fussed because I guess legally I should have been able to pick up the key whenever, but I didn't want to inconvenince anybody and we don't have a live-in super or anything like that.