Firsts and Lasts and The Miles I Ran In Between

I had a moment this morning realizing the date and literally said out loud, “Holy shit, it’s August.” Holy shit, it’s August! That means I have 31 days left as a New York City resident. As the days run out I keep finding my mind torn between anxious excitement to go and sentimental sadness to leave. Between those two emotions I just basically work all the flipping time. Its like time moves way too fast and at the same time is lingering in space. All the while, all I do is work. I’m in a perpetual state of fatigue and muscle soreness and all I really want to do is drink wine and write the blogs I have yet to get out in effort to preserve the memories I created here. As I enter the final month, I can’t help but think about so many things I will do this month for the last time. Today I bought a monthly unlimited metro card for the last time, not one of the “lasts” I’m bummed about. 

On Sunday I went for a run through Central Park and I have to wonder if that was my last run through Central Park. That is an insane thought but very likely a reality. My LAST time doing something I love in a place I’ve gotten to know pretty damn well. I found my love of running in that park. I’ll never forget the first time I completed the full loop of the reservoir without walking. 1.3 miles at the time felt like a gigantic victory. Now, I have ran literally hundreds of miles through that park, finished 5 marathons and started 3 half marathons all in that park. I know exactly how many miles it is around the bridal path, the outer loop and I know which shortcuts to take to avoid difficult hills on days I just couldn’t. I know where the lilacs bloom so I can get a whiff in the spring and I know that just north of the 86th street transverse there is always a mysterious yet very potent smell of cloves. I know that in the mornings right around the baseball fields, just north of the castle where the turtles live, there is a window of time in which dogs are allowed off their leashes and running by them is an amazingly happy way to start the day. I know where every drinking fountain is and which bathrooms will have lines and which ones will not. I know that the south end of the outer loop is my least favorite part as it is always crowded with tourists both walking and in horse and carriage. I know that if I ride my bike home from work through the park there will always be tourists on rented bikes taking selfies with their stupid sticks, riding practically in circles driving me totally crazy proving that New York has a way of taking road rage to a whole new level. This actually reminds me of the first time I ever went to Central Park. I was with my parents, 17 years old and we had just toured the school that would later become my alma mater. As we crossed the street with not a soul in sight, a pretty serious cyclist, you know the nerdy kinds that wear spandex and think they’re in the Tour de France, came flying around the curve of the park. Even though there was plenty of space both in front and behind us to pass he still yelled “get the fuck out of the way!” It was totally aggressive and totally unnecessary and yet we laughed as it felt like the stereotypes of NYC we’d been warned about. Several nights commuting home on my bike however, I found myself oddly relating to him. 

I could go on and on about my love and knowledge of Central Park. I could go on and on about many of my memorable “firsts” but the important ones are blogs of their own that have already been written or are on the list. 

So here we go. 31 days left. 31 days to experience a lot of “last times”, some of which I probably won’t even realize are happening until they’re gone. I expect a lot of tears over the next 31 days as I try to absorb as much energy from this city and let go of things I know are just about over. Between my worlds of emotions and excessive work schedule I plan to live my last month the way I lived my first; with awe, passion, and overall gratitude that I am here in New York City. 

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