Monday, August 15, 2011


 {Image via}
I've been thinking a lot lately, as I come upon my first year in the city, about my future in Manhattan. A week or two ago, I must be honest with you, I was fairly certain I would begin the hunt for jobs back in California and look to make the rest of my lease extent (through June 2012) my last year here. However, as the days have passed and my mood has shifted and normalized a bit more, I am heeding the advice of my wise younger sister who cautioned me to make no decisions until after an upcoming family wedding, and an upcoming weekend spent in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. She advised that I might just be having a severe bout of homesickness, that I should get some good doses of family and then see how I was feeling. I'm sure she's right and, as as born-and-raised-New-Yorker-transplanted-to-California-former-co-worker advised me when I made the move east, "You're going to have to ride the wave. There will be days where missing your family and friends and "home" will be so much you'll just want to cry. But that will pass, and the next wave you'll love your adopted home again." And she was right, as I am already feeling undeniably more confident again in my decision to reside within this city, and I'm sure my upcoming family time will do my soul the good it needs.

So when I stepped back to look again, at what it might be that was making me homesick - was it worth leaving Manhattan already? - I came upon a certain realization that it might be Manhattan that was the problem, not so much the east coast itself. Yes I miss the beach and the desert, and yes this upcoming second winter may solidify a hatred of seasons, but I think I am getting overwhelmed by the compact nature of Manhattan, I think I am craving a bit more space, a bit more open sky, yes kids, it's true - I am fantasizing about moving to a borough. I, who scoffed at friends who warned me not to live in the city, who insisted I would get claustrophobic and be constantly broke and stressed out, oh how I rolled my eyes. I certainly wasn't moving to New York to not live in Manhattan! And I suppose that's a fine instinct to have had, I do think I would have wondered had I truly never lived in the city, but since I have done so, and I can now agree with their statements of a certain stressed out claustrophobia, a certain constant gnawing of financial worries on the brain, a certain suffocation from lack of open sky or constant sunlight or windows looking out at something other than brick and shade and other buildings. And so I think my next move - in the far off month of June - may indeed be to one of the boroughs. Probably Brooklyn, but perhaps Queens, depending on proximity to trains, rental prices, neighborhoods. It's sort of exciting to have another sort of goal, and sort of ironic that as soon as I have settled myself in to one studio - put up shelves and bought a couch and determined to make it "home" - I am already itching for another change.

I guess it all just means that I am still growing and changing and learning about myself. I guess it means that, even as I feel like I should be meeting someone, falling in love, working towards a marriage, planning for a family,working towards the purchase of a home, doing all the things that friends my age are doing and that society slowly but surely makes me feel like I should really have already begun just might not fit for me yet. I'm still unsure of  my next move, unsettled in my current state of being. Is this a constant of life? Does everyone feel this vague sense of ansy-ness in spurts throughout their entire lives? Is it true that I will meet someone one day and feel content and happy to stay put, to nest, to just be? Or do these feelings come in waves for everyone? Now I feel content, now I could sit and read and be with this person, or be by myself, and then a few months later feel the familiar itch to move on, to do something new, to try something different, to redefine yourself in some way? Is this just life, the way it goes? Perhaps. Probably even.

Perhaps I should stop trying to find the point of "done" and stop trying to race towards a moment in my life where I can finally stop and relax and have "made it." Because perhaps that doesn't ever happen. So perhaps it's okay to have moved across the country, and to be unsure I want to stay, and to no longer love the place I assumed I would renew a lease for...Perhaps it's okay to keep on moving along, stopping when something feels right and good, and then moving along again when for whatever reason it no longer does. Maybe that's just life.

PS - That picture? Just felt sort of New York to me this morning, and it was sort of a silly chuckle-picture in hopes that I remind myself more frequently that life is too short for all the fretting I put into it. Happy Monday all!

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