The Hogwarts Express to Harlem

Fun fact: I originally went to Howard because it was the closest school to the city of New York that I applied and got into. I was too scared to even THINK about applying to a school actually in the city and Washington D.C. close enough to teenage Alyssa.

New York City has always been the best thing in the world to me. Artists talked about growing up there and how it helped shaped them. The movies and TV shows I watched only painted it as the city you show up to and your dreams automatically come true. You’ve arrived and the next day you’ve met your best friend in the bar down the street moments after meeting your future husband casually in the grocery store.

I was sold a dream. 

Now that I’m a little older I understand that life doesn’t work like that. I know that big dreams require a big work ethic. Healthy relationships are hard work and are deeply rooted in a strong friendship. And unfortunately, it takes more than a Beyoncé connection to save a friendship from withering to the wayside. However, I still deeply and wholly wanted to live in New York.

Like Hamilton said, “in New York, you can be a new man.”

So, I made a plan. I got a second job in Jacksonville, cut a bunch of my expenses, and put my head down and worked until I saved enough money to move to the city. Boy oh, boy did it suck at times. I reached a new level of tired almost weekly. But it had to happen. My dreams were worth the sacrifice.

Meanwhile, while I was saving enough money to move, I had to rely on God to fix the small issue of how I was going to make it work with my 9-5…We don’t exactly have an office in the city. Once again I found myself relying on him to do the impossible. I was politely told that it wouldn’t happen several different times from a variety of people. But. God. He worked it out so that I can live in the city and work remotely for my company.

As of two weeks ago, I am an official New York City resident. The best part is that I live in good ole’ historic Harlem. I’m already in love. It’s so beautiful to walk outside and be surrounded by people who look like me. It’s earth shattering to hear every car that passes play music I love. It’s amazing to me that I can walk in any store and I’m the target demographic. It’s expensive af. But still, I’m eagerly awaiting for what God is bringing into my life during this chapter.

I’ve finally made it from Hogwarts to Harlem. It feels good to be here.