"Have you ever been to New York City?"
As someone who's pursuing a degree in Fashion Design, I get asked that question a lot. It's a question that has always been hard for me to answer though.
You see, my first trip that I ever took to NYC was two years ago during my senior year of high school. My mom was traveling with me and right as we were boarding the plane, she received a call saying that my older brother Daniel had suddenly passed away. Due to the shock of bereavement, we had to turn back and cancel everything.
I’d never known how to respond in a simple way, so whenever I've been asked about New York City it's always caught me off guard, and I usually end up tongue tied and unsure what to say.
Well about a month ago in mid December, I had been given an incredible opportunity to go to New York. Several gracious people (words will not be able to express what their generous act of kindness has meant to me) came together and gave me the chance to go to New York.
I was unsure how I would feel when I was packing the day before. In fact, I was incredibly nervous and majorly freaking out. A conversation with my very sweet roommate went something like this (please read with hysterical crying), "What if it's not as amazing as everyone makes it out to be?! What if I don't like the city? What if it's like the first trip, and some life altering devastating event happens right before?!"
Through the grace of God, none of that happened though. I woke up at 5am for my flight, and I got on the plane and received no devastating phone call. Surprisingly, I felt calm and grew more and more excited as the plane rose and dipped from the clouds, until I heard a mono toned plane attendant say over the intercom, "You have arrived at JFK airport, please be careful while opening the overhead bins. Thank you and I hope that you have enjoyed your flight."
I made it. I was in New. York. City.
I traveled with a designer who was one of the kind people who helped me on my trip. She had arrived into JFK a little after me, and we took a cab into the city together. During the ride she instructed me on how to use the subways, and which transportation apps I should download. About 10 minutes into the cab ride she said, "Look, there's the city!" I looked out my window and there it was - the sky line - glowing with all the hopeful promises that I've held dear to my heart for many years.
And I LOVED NEW YORK!
The hustle and bustle is somehow calming to me. Everyone is doing something, going somewhere, and at all hours of the day and night. I feel like someone could live in the city their whole life and still not see everything. And that excites me.
I stayed with an incredibly inspiring family who didn't know me, but let me stay in their home and made me feel so welcomed. I hope to have an inviting and hospitable home like theirs one day.
Each morning I woke up with a schedule planning each hour of the day. I tried to meet with as many connections as I could while I was there. I wanted to make each day count. I met with designers, artists, and people in the industry who could offer a bit of wisdom and knowledge. They helped answer the many questions that I had at this stage of my life.
I went to fabric stores, and my heart felt like I had found home: floors and floors of silk, wool, jersey, leather - and it wasn't all polyester! I have never seen so much fabric in my life. AND OH MY GOODNESS, DID YOU KNOW THEY HAVE ENTIRE STORES IN NYC THAT SELL ONLY ZIPPERS?! ZIPPERS! I felt like a 13-year-old at a One Direction concert. The fabric stores understood me. It was like I found my record shop that all the indie, 90s kids went to and felt accepted.
I felt like an imposter walking around Barneys, but it was something that had to be done. I've see the runway looks from photos on Style.com, but to see them in person was incomparable. I touched and inspected the quality of the garments and knew that it was good work - craftsmanship at it's finest - and that level is what I long for in garment construction. I walked out of that big department store, wanting my sewing machine so that I could make samples of the different design techniques that I had seen. Instead, I drew what details I could from memory, and saved the sewing till I was home near a machine.
I was there for six days and afterwards I realized that my heart was all in. This trip brought so much healing to me on a lot of different levels. It was a fresh start. If anyone asks in the future if I've ever been to New York, I can say "Yes!" It's no longer a city that's associated with only sadness and a lost opportunity. It's now a place of that holds memories of God's goodness, people's kindness, and open doors. The fear that I had while packing the day before is completely gone.
Additionally, while I was in NY, I interviewed and received an internship position for this upcoming summer with a luxury women’s wear designer. I’ll be working in their pattern drafting department and I am beyond excited!
Thank you to everyone who's been so kind to keep up and follow my journey of sewing and life the past few years; it's meant so much to me. I’m excited about this new year and the many unplanned possibilities that are available ahead! I'm ready for New York City now. It’s a fresh start, and I'm so grateful.
So happy for you!ReplyDelete
Thanks mom, love you! :)Delete
What a wonderful, uplifting story. Thank you for sharing it with us and good luck for NY Phase 2 when it comes :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you! Yes, I'm very excited for NY phase 2 :)Delete
I'm so glad you had such a nice time and were able to make a good memory. Drop me a line when you're here in the summer if you'd like to grab a cup of coffee!ReplyDelete
Aw thank you for such sweet words about this post. And oh my goodness, I would absolutely love to get coffee with you when I'm in New York over the summer! Let's connect when time gets closer!Delete
way to go Esther. I am beyond excited for you.ReplyDelete
Thank you Elen!Delete
Your trip sounds amazing! I've been following your blog for a year or two and I love seeing the wonderful things you make and reading about your experiences.ReplyDelete
Aw thank you Shira, that means so much :)Delete
That's brilliant - I'm so pleased for you!ReplyDelete
I am so happy for you. Your excitement is palpable. You will go far, my dear, very far as God has given you great talent to get you wherever you choose to go.ReplyDelete
Bunny! Thank you so much, your kind words mean a lot. I truly believe that God is the one who opens the right doors and in His perfect timing. It's such a great reassurance to me.Delete
Yayyy! That is so exciting! I'm glad you finally got the chance to visit NYC! :DReplyDelete
Aw, thank you for being excited for me!Delete
Oh my goodness, Esther. I am so pleased that you had this opportunity. I just know that your journey is really beginning...and that I will someday see your name within the pages of glossy magazines. You are destined (and you have worked so hard) for great things!ReplyDelete
Aww Ashlee goodness, that was just the sweetest thing! Thank you for such kind words and for being excited with me :)Delete
Esther !!!! Words are not enough ..... You are on an INCREDIBLE journey designed FOR YOU by GOD !!! So proud of you !!!!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Mrs. Adams!!Delete
Wow! I wish you all the best for your upcoming opportunity. I'm sure you'll rock it. Cause, you got style ;)ReplyDelete
Aw thank you so much for the well wishes!Delete
Josy and I and incredibly proud of you! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Max this comment made my day! Thank you for all of the help and advice that you and Joslyn have given me along the way. It's sincerely meant so much to me :)Delete
That's great!! You will have a wonderful summer!ReplyDelete
I am so happy for you and look forward to following your adventures here.ReplyDelete
Thank you Trudy!Delete
I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time and that nothing devastating happened this time. Hopefully it can bring your heart some healing.ReplyDelete
I've been to New York approximately 3 times and have had an amazing trip each time. The last chance I got was this past summer and it was for something fashion/blog related, so it felt extra magical. I felt so at home there. I think maybe it's because it's so big. There just has to be a little spot for you in that huge expanse, right?
Thank you Catie for saying such sweet words! Yes, this trip was full of healing in so many more ways than one. I'm so grateful that I was given this chance. It's something I'll remember forever.Delete
And how exciting!! Your latest trip to New York sounds absolutely incredible! Have you written about it anywhere? I'd love to read it!
Congratulations, Esther! I love following your journey. It's so cool how God has redeemed this trip. Can't wait to read about your future adventures.ReplyDelete
I think this is the first time I am commenting here, although I have been following your beautiful blog for over a year now :).ReplyDelete
This post was so very uplifting and inspiring, it made me grin a great big grin, thinking of your face when you walked into the fabric stores! And to get such kindness from strangers, that is wonderful. I have experienced that kind of thing a few times along my travels, and it sticks to your memory like warm fudge sauce, reminding you just how sweet humans are at heart.
The part about seeing Barneys also made me giggle, I have felt just like that! I used to study fashion, before life led me in a different direction, but I still hold a place in my heart for covered seams and beautiful tailoring. So, when I finally visited some of the incredible stores in Paris, I was over the moon! I almost cried when I saw a red Valentino jacket that had been meticulously crafted with each grain straightened to perfection.
Thank you for your blog Esther, it is illuminating, stunning, and sincere.
Zoe :) Xx
The city is certainly a love it or hate it experience! And you are certainly right, I've lived here for 16 years and haven't seen everything there is to see. Plus, it's always changing. Have fun exploring next summer!ReplyDelete
Esther, I've followed your blog for a few years now, and I'm so thrilled for your opportunity in NY this summer!! A friend's sister works in the pattern drafting dept. of Rag and Bone; I hope you will have as wonderful of an experience as she has had. Wishing you all the best!ReplyDelete
Reading your post puts a big smile on my face. I can just imagine the happiness you felt when you were there in New York. Even though we haven't known each other, I must say that I am really glad that your dreams are coming true Esther! You are an inspiration! Keep it up! You have shown that it is possible to move on from a sad experience (you're moving on but I know that your brother will forever be in your heart) and welcome great possibilities this life has to offer. May God continue to bless you.ReplyDelete
P.S. Hoping that one day I can also go and explore NY.
Cheers to you on your summer learning adventure!ReplyDelete