top of page
  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

I am from NYC, sort of…

This morning I went to a craft fair and got to chatting with someone selling crafts. She asked where I was from. “New Jersey, right outside of Manhattan. Basically, I am from New York City.” My! That sounds like a weird thing to say in Wyoming! It seems so far away from me and foreign to everything here, and yet somehow it also seems really close.

I am doing okay with the cultural adjustment, but I have continued to learn things about myself. This morning at the craft fair, I decided that I am a very reserved person. I never really noticed it so much in the city, and I am not sure that I was all that reserved in the city. At least not comparatively. I knew where I belonged in the circles of people in Jersey, and I knew how to act accordingly.

I feel like a fish out of water, or more specifically, a Jersey girl out of New Jersey. Occasionally I am pretty sure I am flopping around in the sand, my mouth opening and closing as I desperately hope to find water.

Earlier this week for a few nights in a row, I had dreams about Jersey and things I missed. They were kind of comical in that the streets of Jersey City and Hoboken were the streets of those cities but all messed up and so were the locations of stores. One night I dreamt I missed the narrow city streets. I can still remember driving into Jersey City in 2012 and feeling claustrophobic as the streets became increasingly narrow and lined solid with parked vehicles. It’s funny to think that even in my subconscious I would miss such cramped narrow streets. Here the streets are so wide and there are so few cars parked along some of them that when I first came I was confused about whether I could park along the empty streets at all! I worried there was a “no parking” sign that I was missing.

Another night, the last night I remember dreaming about Jersey, I dreamt about missing the dollar store where I always buy my reading glasses. Yes, you read that right. I miss having a ridiculous number of dollar stores within easy walking distance. To be fair, I had discovered in the last couple days that reading glasses here are going to cost me three times as much as in Jersey! ($6 instead of $2) In the dream I broke my favorite pair of reading glasses. When I realized I was going to have to buy my glasses at a different store because I had moved, I was filled with a deep sense of grief. I woke up and noticed it was 3:40. As I registered the dream, the grief transferred to the little girls I left behind; and I sobbed. When I joined my prayer group on the east coast at 4:30, I still couldn’t tell them about it without crying. It’s pretty hard to be so far away from my kids.

Other than missing “my” children, I am doing well and loving life. I am working on re-writing the novel I wrote six years ago and am mostly entertained by the endeavor. It amazes me how hard it is to make up stories!

Of all the places in the world, I would have never imagined myself to ever be “basically from NYC.” I fully made that cultural shift from South Dakota to New Jersey. Now I intend to make another cultural shift. It would be pretty cool if in ten years, I could truly be “from” Wyoming. Right now I live here, but maybe someday I will be from here.


bottom of page