Upon reaching the Mysterious Ways team’s cubicles, I knew exactly what I’d come here for: I was looking for a sign.
You may have noticed the Guideposts editors seem to be preoccupied as of late. Practically all of us have written about moving to our new offices at 110 William Street, which is finally happening today.
So I decided to go down there this morning, even though we’d been given today to work from home—a rare treat—as construction crews were still finishing up. I rode a Citi Bike from my apartment along the East River and turned right at the South Street Seaport, dodging cars and construction crews on my way crosstown (lower Manhattan seems to be forever rebuilding itself).
Finally I came to 110 William. I swiped my card and the arms of the security gate lifted up. I took the speedy elevator up to our offices, introduced myself to the construction crew and walked in.
Why am I here? I thought. I would have plenty of time to settle into my new digs. Why not just enjoy a day at home? But upon reaching the pod of cubicles that the Mysterious Ways team will call our base of operations, I knew exactly what I’d come here for.
I was looking for a sign.
An article I read recently reported that Americans are moving less than ever before, choosing to stay in one city even when good jobs exist elsewhere. The author wondered why Americans had become so stubbornly rooted in one place. But I knew part of the answer: Just because moving may make sense doesn’t mean it isn’t scary.
The fear of new places is a common worry that pops up in Mysterious Ways stories:
· A mother of a special needs child tries desperately to find the right home in which to raise her son.
· An elderly woman with health issues seeks a supportive church in her new town.
· Newlyweds search for help fixing up their first home in time for winter.
· A big-city girl wonders if she’ll ever be able to fit in with a small town crowd.
· A recent college grad feels lonely after moving 800 miles from home for her first job.
· A family’s dream to live by the seashore doesn’t go quite as they planned.
These people all had their new-home worries addressed in unexpected and powerful ways. Now I was searching for my own sense of comfort.
I checked out my cubicle, tested out my new desk chair, strolled the aisles. Looked out the wall of windows down to the narrow street below. I peeked into our conference room, the kitchen, our editor-in-chief’s closet... I mean office. The place was nicer than I had expected, but I didn’t find any sign that I’d soon feel right at home.
I exited the building and decided to walk around the block. That’s when I saw it—or rather, smelled it: the delicious smell of sizzling, freshly made hamburgers.
I looked up and saw the sign: Zaitzeff.
It couldn’t be! The East Village location of Zaitzeff had been my favorite burger place near my first apartment, but then it closed. There had been another location near where I lived before I got married, until that closed as well. I didn’t know the place still existed. Now, here it was, right around the corner from my new office. Like it had followed me. And thankfully for my long-term health, it was right near a Citi Bike stand. Of all the offices Guideposts could have moved to...
I ate my burger and then hopped back on my bike to head home. The neighborhood around 110 William Street was already beginning to feel familiar.
How has something unexpected made you feel at home? Share your story with us!