We didn’t think we’d leave New York so soon. It’s been a year, and last week we packed our things and drove away for the last time as tax-paying, apartment-renting Manhattan residents.
The truth is, New York is a dream for a lot of people. It’s iconic, full of creativity, pride, and an unwavering sense of independence. It’s also hard, rough around its edges and full of people just trying to survive, along with others who are trying hard to make something happen for themselves in one of the most over-populated and most driven cities in the world.
I’m not sure where I fall in between those categories- i suppose its somewhere in the middle of them both. There is a huge part of me that felt a distinct hope that maybe we’d find what we were looking for here. We left, ultimately, because although we found bits and pieces of ourselves, there was an even bigger part of us that couldn’t do it anymore. Surviving here became too difficult, and the reality of the adventure became bigger than the adventure itself. In the end, we felt our time in New York was quickly approaching its expiration date, and we needed to figure out our next move.
Justin headed home last week to work remotely through July until he finishes up with his time at NBC. I’ve been crashing at my aunt’s place in Beacon, NY since Monday so i can work in the city through the end of July, as well. I’m so lucky to have her willing and happy to take me in, especially because I understand first-hand what it’s like to have an extended guest stay at your place. And no matter who it is, a month is a long time. Bless her little heart (ha)- I don’t know how I could have done it without her. (And I mean that in the most genuine, non-demeaning sense of the phrase). 🙂
I took the commuter rail in for the first time on Monday into Grand Central. Since I was early, I took the subway up to my old stop on 86th so I could pick up a prescription refill at CVS before heading back downtown toward Brooklyn Bridge. It was surreal walking out onto the street and passing the buildings and places that I have passed so many times before. I couldn’t help but feel lost, even though I knew exactly where I was headed. It hit me hard that I didn’t live here anymore, and because of this, I didn’t really belong here anymore either.
There was always a certain sense of pride I felt whenever I told someone that New York City was my home. But in that moment, I realized that the Upper East Side was nothing more than just another place I used to live. This realization made my stomach tense up, my heart beat a little faster, and I tried hard to resist the lump forming in the back of my throat. Change is hard, and I’d be lying if I said I had a grip on any of it. I don’t think that kind of understanding about your choices in life comes until many years later- I will miss this place.
So what’s next? Big changes. Justin just accepted a new job working for a company in Massachusetts, and I have accepted a year-long position in Annecy, France, where I will be a live-in Au Pair for a family of five. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to become immersed in a language and a culture that I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about. I’m also scared shit-less about moving to a foreign country by myself, having to re-adjust to normalcy, and most of all, leaving the person I love for a whole 11 whole months. It’s not going to be an easy year, but I hope that in the end, I will look back and be able to say confidently that it was a risk worth taking. As for now, I’m gonna cling a little tighter to who and what I love here, and hope that the next couple of months pass a little slower than usual.