As I walk into my new job located far above most street numbers on the east side of Manhattan, I notice two things immediately. First, the two smiling, shining children opening the door for me and thanking me for coming in so early. Second, the picture sitting on the mantle. It is of a woman, an older man, and a second man with a face I recognize as Andy Warhol’s sitting down to have tea, staring at each other like old friends. The woman from the picture then comes into the room in a huge sweeping motion, gracefully but pronounced, welcoming me and kissing me, once on each cheek, European style. I smile politely while my mind screams, “Where the hell am I?”
My official job title is “nanny,” but it feels more like “manager of the children with a focus on organization of the household and personal schedules.” In one day, these children have more things scheduled than I do for 2015. We run from playdates in SoHo to making an appearance at a seven-year-old’s birthday party in Chelsea. We pick up a cake that I’m positive costs more than my rent this month. We stop for lunch at a sushi place on 3rd Ave, by choice of a 10-year-old. We only travel by cab, which makes me wonder if this family knows about the whole world of transportation right below their feet, debating if I should let them in on the secret. We then return home where playtime consists of FaceTiming friends via iPhone 6 and building a Ferrari out of legos.
This world fascinates me. I have never been surrounded by such affluent wealth, and am fully aware that standing next to the perfectly polished men and women on the playground, I stick out like the Brooklynite I am. My red hair gets glares, my tattoos get puzzled faces. But this isn’t what drives me away. It isn’t the eye rolls or the whispers that I know must be about my shoes with the holes in them. It isn’t the constant chaos, and it surely isn’t the children who are purely divine. It is the fact that the only inspiration I pull away from a weekend spent surrounded by the inhabitants of this foreign land was this blog post.
I know moving to New York for the sole reason to write seems silly to some. Why pay an arm and a leg to do something I can do from anywhere with WiFi? Because in order to write, it is so important to be surrounded by people and environments that are constantly inspiring and teaching in a positive way. And although the Upper East Side offered me a sort of entry into this elite lifestyle partnered with a pretty fat paycheck, I am simply unwilling to sacrifice my creative potential. So instead of selling out, I chose to instead quit the job, and continue my growth in a place that values brains over beauty and creativity over Chanel.