35 Gina Moccio

In 99 Cent Dream, Submission on July 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

99 cent dream.

Move to New York to try and shape yourself into something and find that there is no such thing as a break. There is no cushion. This is like staring at the ocean and trying to pick a spot to fish in. Where first? But what if you’re missing out on a spot somewhere else… I hate writing about the situation. Just know that it’s hard. Progress is small. Trudge along. Eat a rainbow cookie. Write 1,000 cover letters. Hear nothing back. Trudge. Have a panic attack. “You cannot stay on Long Island.” Develop a plan to sell your car and move to Brooklyn. Decide multiple part-time jobs is the way to go. Get a part-time job in the city. 2 hours to commute to the city. Trudge. Trudge. People ask why you’re here. You don’t even know anymore. You think it’s because art and people are plentiful and you thought you’d start where you have family and it’s the closest you could get to London for a while. Trudge. It’s filthy here. Way too many people. Savings are getting low. And it’s nothing like London. Trudge. You think you have a lead on an art space to volunteer in. Breathe easier thinking you might have a nook to start settling into. People to share with. Family members point out the issues with your plan. Your uncle insists you need more work before you move. Your cousin understands the need to move. Your uncle calls his mortgage ‘The American Nightmare’. Everyone is drowning. Send emails to artists to contribute to a commissioned project. Try to keep some things in motion. You can’t make the meeting at work because of traffic. Trudge. Please understand that I’m trying. Trudge. Wonder about Atlanta. “Why didn’t you stay? Why did you think this would be easier? Because it was supposed to be.” Cry on the way back home to Long Island. Twice. Sit on the couch and watch a Showtime movie based on different women’s stories. Think about your feelings on abortion and sex. Wonder what the fuck you think anymore. Trudge. Scour Craigslist for a room to rent like it’s your job. It is your job. Trudge.

I wrote that piece about a month ago. It took a while to get used to things being difficult most of the time. Now when people ask me how things are going I say, “It doesn’t get easier. Things just change.” But that means that I have a bigger threshold for difficulty and faith in myself and time. Because if you’re working as hard as you can, both on what you need to be doing and what you want to be doing, there’s no way doors aren’t going to open up. My recent doors have been the success and progress of the Say Anything Song Illustrations. I have four completed and my, are they fantastic. There are a few being worked on. I’m moving to Brooklyn with some people I work with. I’ll be closer to the connections I need to make and events I want to go to. The amount of opportunities available to you when you’re closer to them widens greatly. I’m getting better at my job, though I know I’ll need to get something to pair with it to support myself with. I chose New York because I knew, or thought I knew, it would be tough, and that the lessons I would learn and challenges I would face would help me for the rest of my life, whether I stayed in New York long-term or scooted back down to the south, or what-have-you. Yes, the city is amazing. The little, rare interactions you will have with strangers are magic. The amount of available foods and things to do is overwhelming in a good way. But it usually feels like you’ve become Sisyphus. Forever pushing that rock up a hill that can’t seem to hold your rock at the top. Just once. But, depending on your perspective, you can find the joy in that. If you can position yourself in a spot where you enjoy that routine, you’ve made it. Forever.

  1. 5am read. thank you for sharing such great words.

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