Guess what? I moved to Brooklyn! No more dorms, no more insufferable roommates, it’s all about that one bedroom grind and I am loving every minute of it. I have always wanted to live in Brooklyn because of the strong West Indian presence there. For me, it was a much needed move from Manhattan. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Manhattan but I was beginning to feel out of touch with my Caribbean heritage. It really gets depressing after a while when you go into a grocery stores and there is zero existence of mauby, sugar cakes, Eclipse biscuits, proper hot pepper sauce, and the list goes on. Before I left for New York I did not have a place to stay, well I technically did, but it was an apartment in East Harlem which I hated, absolutely hated and I don’t like to use the word hate. Thankfully, God Almighty had a place for me in Brooklyn and it was just right and was affordable. My commute to school is much to be desired but it is a small price to pay for the immense luxury of having your own space.
After unloading our suitcases into the apartment, my mom and I went to do some shopping and my oh my it was SO refreshing to see the block lined with restaurants from all Caribbean nations. The whole atmosphere was heavy with every accent you can imagine, the fruit markets, the flags proudly waving from the verandas, men liming on the block all that was missing was a rum shop. Indeed it was such an indescribable feeling to be in familiar territory. Setting up the apartment was such a taxing but rewarding experience from buying furniture, kitchenware, groceries amongst many other things. You definitely never know how much it takes to settle into a new place until you have to start from scratch. Thankfully, my mum was there to help me and between us we transformed the empty apartment into a rather cozy abode. It was about a month before school started back and all my time was consumed with the summer assignment. Readjusting back into the academic swing of things was the farthest thing from my mind leading to a slightly rocky start at school.
I existed in the comfort of my apartment’s ecosystem without a care in the world. Well I did have cares and worries, I just ignored them. So it was no surprise that going back to school felt like a mental ice bucket challenge. It was a culture shock all over again, everyone was so busy, my inbox was exploding with school announcements, being a junior with a ton of assignments, everything came rushing in like a tsunami and my brain seemed to go into comatose state. It also did not help that I was beginning to feel somewhat insecure about where I was staying. Most of my friends found apartments in Manhattan and I remembered their hesitation when I mentioned Brooklyn as my living option. Maybe it was too “ghetto” for their taste or something. I had absolutely no grounds for feeling self conscious for I loved my place. I like the down to earth vibe of Brooklyn, I don’t mind a little “ghetto” in the hood, it suited me just fine! So why would I be bothered about how I think other people would perceive where I lived? I admit I do have some self acceptance issues to work on and my apartment has become an extension of myself. However, I know without a doubt, I am happy where I am and that is all that matters.