It always amazes me how many people actually read this blog. When I started it, the sole purpose was to recount my memories of time spent living in the greatest city in the world and I honestly thought the only subscribers would be my mom and two best girlfriends. Since my first post almost two years ago, the feedback has been incredible. “I read your blog, such a funny story.” Or “I read your blog, you made me cry.” What!? Not only are people investing their time to read my stories, but they’re actually feeling what I’m putting out there. Granted, I’m hugely dramatic and I’ve definitely written about some heavy stuff a few times but what an honor it is to know the emotion I put in is being taken out. Two of my newest readers, both people I have met since moving up here had some incredibly nice things to say about my posts and that felt pretty cool. One of them pointed out that it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Last Sunday was the first time I wrote since November. In part because I have very little free time these days but also in part because it’s supposed to be a blog about NYC. I no longer live in a world surrounded by concrete. I live in a world surrounded by trees….oh so many gosh darn trees. *sigh oh Tom.
Every time I write though, be it about attending the Shiva of a woman who wasn’t actually dead, to my struggles with fertility, to professing my love to the people in my life, it always makes me feel good. I feel cleansed and renewed. This is the “dramatic” I was referring to before. It may no longer be about galavanting all over the streets of Manhattan in high heels while riding a bicycle but I’ve still got cool stuff happening to me each day and some of it is worth putting into words, at the very least for my only therapeutic experience. Even if no one reads it, getting the thoughts from my brain to the keys of my rose gold keyboard make me feel good and so the blog lives on.
So much of my life is different now that I’ve settled into the burbs. It’s been 9 months. I’ve watched the trees go from green to brown, to white from snow and back to green again. I see my husband more. I do my own laundry and cook my own meals. I’ve made new friends. I’ve lost touch with old friends. I’e found my place back in the fitness industry and finally figured out the paperwork that goes along with my day job, frustratingly more complicated than the city’s paperwork. At night time I hear crickets and see stars. Instead of pedestrians and taxi cabs, I’m on constant alert for deer crossings and state troopers. My life is so incredibly different than it was one year ago and yet the exact same.
The winter here was better than I anticipated by far. Sure I had to shovel the driveway, scrape my car and hold my breath in anticipation of the power going out but I also got snow days. SNOW DAYS! I grew up in Colorado. I had maybe three snow days between kindergarten and high school and thats only because of actual blizzard conditions.The same was true in Manhattan. If the subway can run, schools will run. Here in the burbs of New York, one flake is all it takes to send panic amongst the land and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING shuts down. I’m not complaining about this, don’t get me wrong. Everyone could use a day at home in their pj’s to catch up on life and DVR’d episodes of “This Is Us”. It just took me by surprise is all.
People ask me almost daily if I miss the city. I’m genuinely surprised by how little I miss Manahattan. I knew I wouldn’t miss the rush and certainly not those five flights of stairs to my doorstep. The most shocking is how much I miss the subway. I don’t miss the smell or the occasional aggravating delays but I miss the ability to sit down and get work done while commuting. I have of course managed to find a way to make my long drives productive. I’m writing this blog via talk-to-text right now and will obviously proofread later because Siri thinks I just said “I kiss the Sunday” and not “I miss the subway”. Driving in it of itself has become something I had to get used to. I drive an average of 125 miles a day. It’s absolutely insane. At first I hated it. I felt it was such a waste of time. Time is money and I have a compulsive need to always be productive. I figured it out though. I write session notes for work via talk-to-text, I review playlists for upcoming classes and I have recently made it a goal to make at least one phone call a day to a friend or family member I’ve been embarrassingly bad at keeping in touch with. Bluetooth was the best invention ever for workaholics everywhere. I’ve only been pulled over twice for speeding too which seems like a pretty big accomplishment for someone who swears she was a racer driver in her past life.
I miss food delivery the most. Sometimes you just don’t want to cook and you want to choose between every single cultural cuisine possible. I want Chicken Tikka Masala and I want it within 20 minutes. Here in Lake Carmel, we’re stuck in the 1970’s and if I don’t want to cook, my options are takeout pizza or starve. I also miss wine delivery but quickly adapted to the routine of always being stocked up. You never know when it’s going to snow and you never want to run out of wine. Adulting at its finest.
Though I work nonstop, at times life seems significantly easier. Slower. It is actually facsinating how slow the people move up here. It took me 25 minutes to buy cilantro, cat litter and coffee this afternoon. 25 minutes! In part because the store is huge unlike my 100 by 100 foot Key Food I shopped in for 14 years but mostly because the people here are so insanely slow! Nobody is in a rush ever. It is absolutely jaw drop worth how totally ambivalent these suburbians can be to the fact that someone may be behind them. In the city if someone stops short in front of you and then absentmindedly stares at the poultry section, totally oblivious to the fact that you were behind them, an audible sigh of frustration and judgement is made and you aggressively and dramatically maneuver around them. Here you either wait patiently or give a polite “excuse me”. Sometimes I’m calm and find humor in this alternative world but sometimes, my 14 years of Manhattan molding oozes out of my pores. I’m able to contain my thoughts to my brain but the dialogue inside there is…. Well lets just say bitchy. Not the word I would prefer. With the slowness though, also comes a refreshing level of kindness. It actually confused me at first. Whats your angle? But then I noticed that everyone was nice. Cashiers ask how you are and listen. People let you pass them in stores and make eye contact. Cars let you in or give courtesy waves if you let them in. People hold the door for you when they see you coming and again, make eye contact and say thank you. I didn’t realize how cun… I mean bitchy I had become living in the city and I realize now I needed this change.
I’ve certainly calmed down. How could I not? I do dishes and look at trees and birds flying by. About a month after I moved here, I was scrubbing a dish and watched a neighborhood cat drop a deuce right in the middle of my yard and it made me so happy. I have to do dishes but I get to see cats instead of a blank wall. I find joy in the simple things like my yard in full bloom after a heavy rain storm. It’s crazy how you really learn to appreciate things when they are no longer accessible. I grew up in Colorado but didn’t fully appreciate those gorgeous Rocky Mountains until I left. I had the sky in NYC but no stars. I had a place to live but not a home. I had a roommate, not a husband. My cats are now living their best lives and that alone would be enough to make me happy. Spring is in full bloom and come summer my work load will drop off and I’ll be able to be home more. A luxury I plan to never take for granted.
NYC, the original premise of this blog made me happy for 14 years. I fell in love there in so many ways. I grew up there and I am so thankful to have lived there. But this blog, I realize now was never really about the city. It was about what makes me happy and what makes life worth remembering. I want to remember the people, the experiences, the emotions. Again, there is the aforementioned “dramatic” but life is too short to not be a little dramatic and it’s too short to not embrace the things in life that make you feel. Whatever it is that you feel; be it happy, sad, inspired, loved etc…embrace it, learn from it and appreciate it. Then write a blog about it.