Saturday, January 30, 2010

Manhattan:For better or worse

As I stepped off the flight at JFK in August 2009 and blinked my weary eyes at the New York sky, I could feel the onset of the love affair beginning. For the past 10 years I had been living in the south east of England (London to begin with and then, St.Albans...shudder) and had been passively strapped into a people carrier existence, silently watching the slow car crash of my life unfold. The things is, I had the right kind of car....kind, generous, supportive, handsome loving husband, two engaging, loving, intelligent kids..I just was on the wrong motorway (Interstate, as I am beginning to say) and heading to the wrong place. That motorway was the M Dull Suburbia. Since August 2009 until now, I feel the resuscitation of my life on a daily basis. Every time I put my foot on the sidewalk (pavement, yadayada) and suck in the energy in the air, my eyes distend, my lungs rasp and my body and mind breathe back into life - I'm alive!

Here's the problem, now I am here - how do I stay here? Issue number one - get green card. Issue number two - money. Living and surviving in Manhattan is all about the bucks, baby. The good news is, my husband (lets call him Robbie) is a banker. Ahem, the bad news is, Robbie is a banker. This is bad news for two reasons. First is, when we had kids, he worked such crazy hours and under so much pressure that we had to choose - my career or his. He earned more, his won. Thus, I have spent the past seven years (gulp, that is a long time when you write it) putting my career on the back burner. Working part time, working for free to stop myself going insane, writing business plans - you get the picture. So, my starting salary in my new life isn't going to make a huge dent in our outgoings. The second reason is we are in the era of 'banker bashing', so salaries and bonuses are down and there is no job security whatsoever. But, hey, people are in worse situations, so it is all hands to the pump....get a job. Over the next few months, I will chronicle one woman's fight for survival in Manhattan. Despite the fact that I have not had full time employment for seven years, I will be 'woman seeks well paid rewarding job, must be in Manhattan'. Tomorrow - my ode to Manhattan..shall I compare thee to a summer's day. Find out why the city has got under my skin. Bisous Torie B xx