I rarely describe my life in full detail to friends elsewhere in the country for fear it’ll be viewed as bragging, but truth be told: it’s pretty fly.
An attractive, self-employed and award-winning media professional living in New York City, I am pretty much living my dream: weekdays spent working for big-name TV networks, magazines and web sites; weeknights sipping cocktails with colleagues at sexy entertainment-industry parties; and plenty of impromptu weekends in Atlantic City or the Caribbean with my girls.
As a freelance writer I can file stories from anywhere in the world so long as there’s an Internet connection, and I have: from Paris to Panama City, Amsterdam to Abuja, Honolulu to Havana. I’ve traveled by private jet, by helicopter and by yacht, met everyone from Jay-Z to Muhammad Ali and count award-winning filmmakers, activists, authors and TV personalities as friends and peers.
Even my home life rocks: I live and work from a sunny, spacious-by-New-York-City-standards two-bedroom apartment — perfect for hosting dinner parties and game nights — in an increasingly hip Brooklyn neighborhood. The only catch? That I come home each night to a … cat.
Yup, that’s where the record skips, I’m afraid.
At the ripe-old marital age of 36 — when so many of women I know outside NYC have long been married (some more than once), many with kids in middle school, I am still stuck at the proverbial starting line, seemingly forever single and dating.
People warned me when I first moved to New York more than a decade ago that it was a “single’s town,” but back then I wasn’t concerned: I figured as long as I remembered to date in between deadlines, The One — a chocolate-skinned man with a wide smile and qualities similar to my awesome father and three brothers — would eventually show up. We’d connect organically: he’d be the guy I occasionally grabbed drinks with outside the office, or the brotha who kept stepping on my toes as we danced the salsa at a house party. After three years of dating we’d jump the broom at an oceanfront villa in Puerto Vallarta and then sail around the world for our honeymoon. Back in the states, brown and beaming, we would return to Brooklyn — eager to unpack wedding China and begin our lives together. I was so confident in this vision that I nonchalantly turned down my first marriage proposal from a high school boyfriend back in Virginia, something that — despite my circumstances — I do not regret. It just never would have worked: he was a sweet, small-town guy, wanting little more than a house, a minivan, a wife and some kids, whereas I wanted it all — a big-city life with the family and a kick-ass career.
I still do.
Besides, I thought then, how hard could it be — finding and marrying one man in a city of more than 8 million people?