Conversations Over Coffee, Vol. 1

Over the weekend, I moved to a new apartment. I moved to a new state, in fact, and into my first co-habitating relationship. David and I found a place in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, and now we call it home. The first priority after the metaphorical dust had settled was clearing a space on the counter for the coffee pot so we could be sure to have a fresh brew the next day. Coffee is important to me.

I'm a bit isolated this week as I spend most of my time at home, digging out the mess and creating a cozy, comfy, functional home for us both. (This is one of those times that not working in an office is very much a blessing.) Since our friends and family aren't exactly across the street from our new place (though our proximity to the subway, thankfully, brings us much closer than we could appear), I hoped you guys would join me for a coffee date today. When you can't have the face-to-face, the blog version is the next best thing.

If we were sitting down to coffee, I'd first ask you to tell me your news—I can talk about myself and what's going on, uninterrupted, for...too long. I'm working on it, but I do get wrapped up in sharing all the little details before I come up for air. So before I get going, tell me—what's new in your life?

If you insist, okay. So...we moved in together! And I moved out of New Jersey! I have never lived anywhere but the New Jersey suburbs, and at face value, moving to New York City is a massive change. I'm happy that we picked the neighborhood we did though (especially as opposed to the very busy, very loud, very traffic-y Midtown West neighborhood David used to live in) because I feel like it eases the transition. We are steps from Riverside Park, which isn't quite the green expanse that Central Park is, but it still has grass, views, and a bit of separation from the city streets. And the neighborhood itself is much quieter than Midtown and, in my humble opinion, so much prettier.
After I said goodbye to my yogis last week, with my final class on Sunday—as in, the day AFTER we moved all of my belongings out of New Jersey; thank goodness for the generosity (and futons) of friends—I took my first commute home. Leaving the studio I practiced in, learned so much in, became a certified teacher in, and taught my first and most classes in is the hardest part. I'm grateful to be a founding member of Iris Studios and maintain that connection to my home yoga community, as many IS clients are also members of my (now-former) studio. But rest assured, I am on the hunt for a new place to teach and practice; I'm visiting a new studio tonight for the first time and can't wait.

If we were sitting down to coffee, we'd probably talk about the idea of house to home. I'd tell you that unpacking was...a big job. I got the kitchen and bathroom done done first thing on Sunday, and the rest just fell into place over the next day or two, luckily. Tuesday I learned that not all heroes wear capes—some wear the USPS uniform, and others wear UPS attire. We made a massive Amazon order Sunday night and got all our goodies—including a new vacuum, a crock pot, new dishes, a tub mat, a step ladder, and some cleaning supplies—on Tuesday. You would have thought there were boxes full of calorie-free chocolate strawberries being delivered to my door, so ridiculous was my excitement level.

I'd add that I haven't had nail polish on in weeks, as I knew my nails and hands would be a disaster what with all the packing, moving, and unpacking. I'm going running soon, and afterward I can't wait to treat myself to a self-mani, one of my favorite small gestures of self care.

After another sip of coffee, I'd mention how much I love our giant, south-facing window that fills the bedroom with light in the mornings. Our first wake-up together here was Monday, and it was the best Monday morning I have had in ages. It'll take us some time to perfect our routine, but we're off to a pretty great start.

I've started exploring the neighborhood more now—on foot this time, as opposed to on Google Maps as I'd been doing for the past three pre-move weeks. It's not quite the bustle that Midtown is up here, but we have everything we need within blocks—including a sushi restaurant across the street; ramen, pizza, Indian, Italian, a biergarten, and coffee shops around the corner; a Starbucks 10 feet away, and a Fairway just a 5-minute walk. My first run through Riverside Park and the Upper West Side was Tuesday, during a gentle snowfall, and it felt like absolute magic. It felt like home.

If we were sitting down for coffee, I imagine you'd ask me how it all feels. I'd tell you that it just feels right. I expected to be a bit of a nutcase when leaving my old apartment for the last time. I was there for two and a half years, and it was the first place I ever lived alone, without roommates. But I wasn't sad to go. I felt grateful for the chapter of my life that occurred there, but so ready to turn the page. And moving out of NJ and into a new place didn't, doesn't feel scary. Moving in with David didn't, doesn't feel scary. It just feels like...this is where we live now. This is home. This is where I'm supposed to be. (Though, I will admit, we did have a few sappy moments of just repeating to each other, stars in our eyes, "This is where we live now. We live together.")
I'm guessing you, like most other people, will ask me about work. How my job search is going. What ever happened with that one place? I'd tell you—and try to convey with my eyes that I'm okay—that I didn't get a job I interviewed for a few weeks ago and really, really wanted, knew I could do well. But it's fine, I'd assure you. I've got some freelance stuff ongoing, and I'm starting to take a new approach. I'm starting to realize something: "If it doesn't open, it's not your door." I'm starting to shift priorities and I'm ready to try knocking on a different door, and I'd tell you that coming to this realization has been one of the most liberating, calming, and yet energizing events of the last year.

And, truthfully, if we were sitting down to coffee, I doubt we'd be able to get up from the table without me slipping into a discussion of everything that has happened to America since January 20. I'd try to keep our conversation light, though, because sometimes you just need to withdraw from the oppressive news of the day and enjoy a light-hearted catch-up with friends. But I would assure you that I'm staying active, aggressive, educated, and informed, and I would hope that you are too. I would encourage you to sign up for emails about 10 actions in 100 days, The Skimm if you don't already subscribe, and share some of my favorite places to donate—like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the NRDC, and GLSEN. I would tell you that I'll be first in line to sign a Muslim registry if it comes to that, and that I'm researching ways to get involved in registering voters and raising awareness about mid-term elections. (Especially if you're one of my friends from home, because New Jersey is voting on a lot of people in 2017, including governor and assembly.) I'd ask how you feel about what's going on in Washington, and create a space for us to talk openly, ask each other questions, and share concerns.

I'd want us to leave from our coffee date on a cheerful note, so I'd ask you what's happening in your life in the next couple weeks. When it's my turn, I'd tell you I'm looking forward to a running a partner yoga workshop in February, watching my dear friend marry the love of her life, and settling deeper into life as a new New Yorker.

Linking up with Kristen
Linking up with Joey


  1. I love this so much: "If it doesn't open, it's not your door."
    That might have to become my 2017 statement.

  2. i talk about myself way too much and sometimes i'm like.. whoa kristen, slow down and be quiet. haha. i'm so jealous you live so close to a park, how fun! i'm hoping to be near a park in our next house. like, one i can run at.
    hope the new studio you visit tonight is a good one!
    a new vacuum!!!! is it weird that that is so exciting to me?! a crockpot!! but also a vacuum!!
    awww love the line about your monday morning. i love love love natural light in a bedroom. all the food near your place! how exciting. i hope they are all amazing restaurants - unless of course, you want ot save money in which case i hope they are all horrible. hahaha.
    ugh, rage you didn't get that job. but, if you're okay, that's what matters. i hope your door comes soon :)
    i am so excited for you :) so many good things. nothing new over here. haha. turning 30 in 10 days!

  3. Welcome to the neighborhood. I live in Harlem.
    I hope you enjoy the city and your new move. Look forward to following your blog and seeing what kind of adventures you get up to.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE - "If it doesn't open, it's not your door."

    So hard to remember sometimes, but so obvious when things just sort of fall into place and you realize they were meant to be.

  5. Moving is such a pain in the ass, but so happy that it went smoothly for you! Also happy that cohabitation is going so well. I had those same sappy moments and was often surprised at just how easy the transition was. When it's right, you just know!

    Love that quote. Writing it down to remember! Good luck settling in and opening a different door!

  6. Congratulations on the move! It sounds like you're settling in very nicely. I get excited about adult stuff, too, so I totally get it. I feel like there's something extra nice about starting something somewhere new with your partner, rather than moving into one world or the other. And, I love your outlook!

  7. What an exciting chapter of your life! Make sure to take in every moment (as it seems you are!) because these are the days you'll want to remember forever. I can't wait to hear more about the life you build out in NYC!

  8. So I'm sitting here sipping my Starbucks and part of me flat out misses you. I talk to you regularly, we read, we comment... but it feels different now. My friend has moved away. And although now we can do lunch or dinner dates in the city it's still different. I need an adjustment period. I'm not commenting on anything else because you already know where I'm at. :)

  9. When it's right, it's right, and you know it in your bones. You don't always listen to it, but you do always know it in your bones. It is better when you can feel it though. I'm happy you can.

  10. It sounds like the move is going really well and I'm so happy to hear that. I can't imagine how much fun NYC must be! And that park looks beautiful. I can really relate to the job stuff...I wanted a position in a specific department and applied, interviewed, got denied, repeat for 6 months. Each time I was so devastated and decided to just stop trying and look elsewhere. No lie- later that day someone in that department called me for an interview and offered me a job on the spot. I realized this specific group was the absolute perfect fit for me and that everything happens for a reason. I hope you find the same perfect fit and can stay patient and not be hard on yourself during the progress (even though it's EXTREMELY frustrating and soul crushing). You got this girl!

  11. Beautiful post! I'm glad that moving feels right and it sounds like a really nice place to live. I hope you find the perfect job for you! I know what's happening in the U.S. and the world is really upsetting, but it's important to stand up for what you believe in and find ways to help.


  12. Congrats on the move! How exciting! That picture of Riverside Park is just so gorgeous and perfect, I love it! I hope that you find a new yoga studio that you love as much as the one you had to leave. Though, as passionate as you are about yoga I have no doubt you will in no time! "If it doesn't open, it's not your door." ---That is the perfect advice that I think many people need to hear!!! If something doesn't work out, then it just wasn't meant to be and there is something better out there that will be coming to you. Reading The Skimm every morning is great right? I get all the information I need for the day and none of the drama on social media. I can do with the information what I want before it is tainted and fights break out haha.

  13. I'm so excited for you and David! What an exciting new step together! Ah <3

  14. Oh, Alyssa. What an exciting time for the both of you.
    Last week was my first week of blanketing some opportunities with my resume. After receiving my first rejection email, I need to read this: "If it doesn't open, it's not your door." Thank you.

  15. I have a similar habit of once I get started talking about my life I forget to take a breath ha ha! Sounds like many things have been happening! Congratulations on the move ♥

  16. our lives are so in sync right now. I was in Raleigh for a few days helping my mom prepare for HER move while in the midst of packing and preparing for my own and my sister looks over "you've really let your nails go." THE SHAME!! hahah. The kitchen, bathroom and master bed are my first things to tackle in any move. The coffee pot always rides shotgun, never even touches a box. If that homeboy isn't hooked up within 5 seconds flat of moving into a new place, I turn into a nasty beast. We learned that in our first ever move. We've never made that mistake again.

    CONGRATS on your move, lady! How exciting to be in NYC! We went last summer for my 30th and I loved every second of it. I've been before--but this was the first time I ever went to just hang out without any real agenda. I wish we could get coffee together in real life. I feel like we'd never stop talking :)

  17. I am so happy for you, my sweet friend. I can't wait to join you in NYC sometime soon for an actual coffee date face-to-face. LB sends you lots of happy thoughts and vibes too. <3 xoxo

  18. this is a big milestone for you guys - enjoy it!
    I'm a 100% believer in "if it didn't happen, it wasn't meant to be....yet". No door is permanently shut but it might not be the right time at the moment.

  19. Yay, this post makes me so happy! Also it gives me You've Got Mail vibes with the Riverside Park shot. So sorry to hear about the job not panning out, but love your outlook on it not being your door-- sending you many positive vibes and good thoughts that the perfect one is right around the corner for you!


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