Claudia is moving to California (I’m Claudia)

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nida chowdhry, drawing, doodle, moving, new york city, nyc, koreatown, los angeles, socal, california, moving alot, lahore, pakistan, immigrant, writer
A map to further confuse you

I’m definitely experiencing a JT/Britney breakup worth of emotions (audience perspective) as I surround myself with packing boxes, preparing to move for the ::counts on fingers:: two, three… five… fifth time in six years.

This time, my mini-family unit (male partner man and feline companion) and I are heading back to California to be closer to family. I hesitate to say for good because as I’ve just mentioned, our track record says otherwise. Either way, we’re movin’, on the move again.

This is a joke of some sort at this point because as it turns out, the last time we moved – from Koreatown, Los Angeles to Jersey City, New Jersey where we’ve been for two years now – I must have forgotten to post a memo because everyone in California thinks I’ve always been in New York and everyone in New York thinks I live in California. We basically exist off the grid so we get what we don’t post (a new phrase for the modern century).

I only recently realized this because after being in a hole for two years working with Yumna and our team to make Unfair & Ugly, I resurfaced in the city to make friends again and realized people thought I was visiting New York, and I was like, Nope, I’ve been living here… writing and editing… under a rock… that’s where I’ve been… 231 Under A Rock, Jersey City, NJ 07306.

It’s almost like I haven’t existed anywhere, except a plane in my mind. Hehe. There’s more truth to that than you can imagine, which is an insult to you because you could be very imaginative for all I know.

It’s been like 35 degrees here for weeks and I’ve been dreaming of palm trees and 405 traffic that will deliver me to the relative ease of suburban errands. I imagine this new Nida that will jog on the beach and wear yoga pants to do yoga, then switch into any kind of fashionable, layered look that has that just-threw-it-on fabulousness because the weather is temperate AF year-round so I can wear what I want when I want, unlike NYC’s sweaty armpit subway weather that turns into frigid bone and soul crushing cold (sorry Minnesota, Mississauga, and other such places to whom I sound very spoiled right now).

I like to think of myself as having a gruff grimness from my five years in New York, and that I’ll bring it back with me to California, like when Claudia from the Babysitter’s Club (you know, the one Asian person in all of middle school book land, with the exception of Joy Luck Club) moves to C… oh wait, they’re in Connecticut?!! I assumed they were in California. Whatever, same difference.

Wait… you’re telling me it was STACEY who moved from New York to Ca..Connecticut? AND BY THE WAY I HATE THAT STATE NAME… the spelling used to BAFFLE me. It’s all con-ne-ti-cut but it has an extra C in there that you’re not supposed to pronounce. That is some confusing ass settler colonial bullsh*t.

WHAT? Connecticut isn’t an English word? It’s derived from an Indigenous word? Hold on, let’s google this. “The word itself was translated from the Indian (<-more colonial confusion) name “Quinnehtukqut” and means “beside the long tidal river.” THERE! THAT! THEY ADDED THE DAMN C IN! I KNEW IT WAS SOME BULLSH*T!

So WHAT if it’s Stacey who moved from New York to California. I’m rewriting this and it’s now cool Asian Claudia who is the gruff rough-around-the-edges black-clothes-wearing fast-paced impatient character who is now in the land of suburbs. And I’m Stacey-Claudia people. I’m Stacey-Claudia and I’m moving (back) to California. With my closet full of mono-toned clothing, of which I had to expire all the tropical colored clothing so as not to stand out among the throngs of unhappy faced people of New York.

California Nida vs. NYC Nida

I’m coming back, with my angry, ‘don’t you take that leering holler a step further’ b*tch face on lock down (look it up it’s a real facial expression).

I’ve taken my bad LA traffic driving to another level of training on the lawless streets of New Jersey and the international cab drivers of NYC tour.

I’ve shed my naivety and distrust everyone more equally than before – ah, the sweet urine-stained scent of “open-minded” “liberal” “progress.”

And I distrust botox in an amount that should last me for at least five minutes in LA. I mean, we should all be lucky to age like Cher in Mamma Mia! 2, I guess. Did you OBSERVE how she STOLE THE SHOW?! What a legend.

I’m looking forward to fitness Nida, filming more Stranger Magic projects, and beach-proximity.

“Oh the places you’ll go”

– Cat Stevens

UPDATE: I’m in California and I feel colder than I did in New York. I momentarily considered purchasing a puffy jacket. The suns out. I have a car and it’s attached to my body now. I’m glad to be back, peace and blessings, hashtag prayer hands.

UPDATE UPDATE: It’s sunny now, hallelujah, this is the California summer, I mean winter, I dreamt of on those frosty days.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: It’s 1 degree in New York right now. That was a close one.

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