Since announcing our move about nine months ago, I’ve been asked in a variety of ways if this was really happening. “Are you guys really moving?”, I hear frequently with subtle hints of judgement and disbelief. Well we can put the questions to rest. It’s official. This is happening. A few days ago, Tom sent the notice to his tenant that her lease is up and she’s got to be moved out by August 31st. Sorry lady, there’s a new couple in town and they’re taking back the land. This makes it pretty damn official. Very soon we’ll receive the offer to renew or end our lease here in NYC and I suppose that will be the icing on the cake.
With 3 months until our departure, I also get asked quite often how I feel about it. This question comes at me one of two ways. The people who don’t want me to move, mostly the city folk, ask with a head tilt and a tone of concern as if I’m suffering from a horrible illness. The country folk ask with high inflection and excitement. Truthfully, both sides are accurate in their implications.
Of course I feel some sadness to leave this city. I’ve created a pretty fricken awesome life for myself here. I’ve established myself pretty well professionally and managed to surround myself with incredible people who want to see me rise. These are the things I’m sacrificing for the burbs.
Not only do I have one job that fulfills me, that I’m actually good at and that I love, I have THREE. I work from 4:45 in the morning until 8:00 at night, playlisting on the train, responding to emails between students and sweating it out at my classes. It’s a constant nonstop to do list. I finish one playlist, teach the class and have to make a brand new one. I write one students report and before I can blink, another is due. Daily chores like the dishes and laundry are a constant nag and yet I love it. I’m proud of the work I do here, both in the schools and at the studios. Not many people are fortunate to love their work and I’m so thankful I do. Moving out of the city doesn’t mean I have to give up any of these jobs but they will all change in some capacity and that is in its own way saddening. The people associated with these jobs have also brought me great joy, both in the education world and in the fitness world. I will be sad to not see their faces everyday but like anyone you meet in life, the people meant to be in it will find a way to stay in it.
There are other things I’ll miss for sure but besides my hustle and the people I love, nothing really gives me that twinge of anxiety as I think about not having them in my everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna miss the conveniences like wine delivered to my door step in a blizzard, restaurants with incredible food on every block, leaving the bar after a few drinks and not having to worry about who the designated driver is. I’ll miss the culture and diversity. I stand on the train now as I write this. Looking around I see at least 10 countries represented. My favorite in this moment is the couple taking video documentation of what is clearly their first visit to NYC and this is their first subway ride. I remember my first subway ride. Insert heavy sigh here as I reminisce of time this was actually a thrill.
I digress. I’ll miss cruising through the streets on Sassy and passing historical landmark after historical landmark, trying to imagine what the city was like over 100 years ago when those still stood and every building around them was yet to be. I pass sights on my daily commute that people choose to come see on their vacations. The thing about living here is that you start to take their luster for granted. When you pass them day in and day out and have to push passed the tourists blocking traffic while taking their photos you forget to take notice and remember the magic and determination this city was built on. Since we decided on this move almost a year ago I’ve made a conscious effort to not take those opportunities for granted. I suppose in all my time in NYC, all 13.5 years, I’ve occasionally caught a glimpse of the empire state building, walked down a cobble stone street, looked up at Grand Central and absorbed the energy they all offer. If you live here, you know what I’m talking about. The city has a way of reminding you why you came here in the first place and why you continue to put up with all the other inconveniences day in and day out.
These “inconveniences” I speak of are what make up my list of things I will not miss. I will not miss having to climb five flights of stairs just to go home, especially after a long day and groceries in tow. I will not miss the smell of garbage on hot days or tiptoeing over piss and playing frogger over the homeless sleeping on the train at 5:30 in the morning. I won’t miss waiting for several trains to pass before one has space enough for me to squeeze on so tightly I’m being held up by complete strangers and hoping to God they don’t have lice…or worse, bedbugs. I won’t miss having to schlep my laundry down those aforementioned stairs and up two blocks to the laundry mat where I have to fight for a machine and then pay over $30 to wash and fold my own laundry. I won’t miss the constant noise and crowds. But most of all, I won’t miss spending $2100 a month for a shoe box we call home. We’ve been in our tiny little place for almost 9 years and though we’ve made ourselves comfortable and worked out the kinks, there is no natural lighting, the heat pipe makes so much noise we had to buy ear plugs, cockroaches are inevitable visitors, you can bless the neighbors when they sneeze and again, the stairs.
A lot of these things that I won’t miss also make of the list of things I’m looking forward. Having space being the number one on the list but I’m mostly looking forward to having outdoor space where I can drink my wine with the sky as my ceiling. If you want such a luxury in Manhattan you must first fight for an open patio seat at a restaurant that actually has outdoor seating and then to enjoy it for some time, you have to spend a ton of money. Plus, the view is concrete and the music is traffic. When we move we have a deck with trees and birds and you bet your bottom we’re going to join one of those wine clubs so the wine will be readily available for a fraction of the price.
With three months until our departure, I will try to put down in words more of my favorite memories made in Manhattan but in truth it took me almost a week to write this one; one sentence per subway ride. As the clock ticks down both nerves and excitement flood over me now and then but more than that is nostalgia and gratitude. I have so many strong feelings attached to this city, some that bring actual tears and some I find myself smiling so big, the strangers around probably wonder what drug I’m on. I’m thankful for my time here and I really can’t say it enough; the people. If you haven’t received a blog dedicated to you, I assure you one will come, even if its after the great migration. My time here is dwindling but the feelings I have will travel with me for life. For now, my day to day life will be a constant back a forth of the pros and cons of what my life will be like when I finally say goodbye.