They say some things are better said than done. I’ve always had the mentality that if I set my mind on accomplishing a task, I’d complete it. This November I finally completed a task on my to-do list. I moved from Florida to New York City. Everyone has a reason for changing things up. For me, this move laid the groundwork for my future. I didn’t seek approval, I just did it.
It wasn’t the easiest of moves. It sucked. A lot. My things were heavy and as I realized, excessive. In my 25 years, I’d amassed a ridiculous amount crap. As a result of my stubbornness and reluctance to let things go, I was stuck loading several heavy items onto the truck and then unloading them into storage . Initially, I wanted to rent a 15ft truck, but instead opted for the cheaper 20 foot truck to tow my heaps of junk.
To begin, the truck rental process was horrendous. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. I made the terrible mistake of renting the truck on a Sunday and loading my items that same day. Unbeknownst to me, the truck location was at a flea market. As I arrived I noticed there were boards that supported the structure and pieces of recycled parts used for desk space, but no attendant. The dilapidated sign with the name of the company was nailed to a post. I immediately called the national center and they too could not reach the owner of the rental.
After an hour of searching, the national branch redirected me to a nearby location. The new location was a gas station. This was a structural upgrade but customer service was poor at best. When my rental documents were printed , the store owners wrote VOID on the back. I couldn’t believe they were reusing paper and writing over former customers’ names and signatures. It was my first time renting a hitch, so I required assistance for setup. I was given printed directions and told to go outside in the dark and figure things out.
Since I refused to go to the truck without assistance, the owners grudgingly agreed to help. As we struggled to attach the hitch one of the co-owners excused himself saying that he had clothes in the dryer at home. Eventually with some luck, prayer, and good cellphone lighting we somehow managed to attach the hitch. It was 8p by the time I began loading my things.
Trying times like this give me immense stress and immense gratitude. I am so thankful for my supportive family. Even though my siblings had school the following day, they assisted me alongside my parents in completing the daunting task of loading the truck. We eventually finished at 12am. The following day, I went to the regional moving service center to double check the hitch. As expected, they discovered that the hitch was incorrectly assembled. Adjustments were made and disaster averted.
You can learn a lot about someone when you spend 17 hours with them and drive over 1,100 miles together. Besides the times my mother screamed at me to be mindful of the road and to get gas while the truck was still half full, she was an excellent road partner. She overcame her fear of heights as she drove over a bridge during the first leg of the trip.
She came through for the tolls since I was foolish enough to only take $10 on this prolonged trip. There was a tollgate where we paid $76 toll using dollar bills. Imagine us counting, one…two…three, all the way to $76. I’m sure the toll attendant had ideas about our occupation. When we arrived at the truck rental location to drop off the truck, our movers were nowhere to be found. My mom suggested that I take offers from people off the street to help me move. I didn’t want random people I from the street entering my future home. After two hours of waiting and getting haggled by bystanders, the movers finally arrived.
The hired movers were a disappointment. I’m still furious at the thought that I paid $30 for one of them to drive the truck a mile down the road, only for the truck to be parked in the middle of the street. Had I known that the truck would be parked in the road, I would’ve driven it myself. Also, I assumed that if we helped the movers and completed the offloading sooner, we’d get reimbursed for the remaining time. My assumption was incorrect and I did not receive the remainder of the amount paid. This was my warm welcome to New York City and the beginning of many more adventures and realizations to come.