And We're Back
Home is an interesting concept, isn't it? There are hundreds of quotes about it, books written about finding it, songs, poems. Home is actually one of my favorite words. Something about saying it out loud feels like warm butter on toast. Comforting, familiar, safe. Home is the reason why I set out on an adventure to Vermont. And home is exactly why I returned to New York.I always felt a surge of joy driving or flying into the green mountains. Then my parents moved away. Then my friends formed new tight knit friend groups and/or procreated. The state ebbed and flowed yet I still felt a longing for it because I didn't have my feet on the ground there. When I finally took the leap and stood on that pavement again with a roof over my head, it felt...wrong. I mean, at first, it was glorious. It was beautiful as always and new and exciting. It was a fresh start. A chance to rediscover myself and get back to my roots. The things was my roots weren't there anymore. They had been planted and growing somewhere else and I had ripped them out and replanted them where they had first sprouted and the soil was all wrong.Okay, enough plant metaphors.Basically, I was in a place I loved and I felt like I didn't belong. I tried to live in the past. Or in most people's vacation. Vermont is fucking amazing. I just want that to be clear. It is gorgeous and happy and community strong. People can thrive there and find their life there. Slowly, it was becoming clear mine wasn't there. I wasn't sure where mine was and everything was upside down.I don't need to rehash my struggles. I've written about them pretty steadily as I went from excitement to depression. My biggest dream was to live in New York City and I decided I didn't want that dream anymore; I wanted a new one. And everyone keeps telling me that my choice was brave. It was. I'm grateful for those words because often I feel it was stupid and foolish. It's brave to uproot yourself (sorry, plants again) and start something different. I made that choice. I didn't lose a job or a house or get divorced or have something intense propel me out of here. I made the choice and I guess that's why I feel more responsible that it didn't go the way I imagined.Cut to moving back. I've been back in the city for two months now. My husband joined me two weeks ago. I found us an apartment and got a job in a week. My new job is great. Is it a dream job? No. But it is an office full of nerds who respect me and praise my quick learning and positive attitude. They are funny, supportive, and don't yell, scream, or stress out and act like the sky is falling. We get drinks after work. I actually have energy during the day and when I get home. I don't feel drained, battered, or defeated. I feel fucking great. My anxiety and depression still are sitting pretty on my shoulders but they are far less than they have been in two years. I don't feel it in the pit of my stomach constantly. I have energy and I feel...HAPPY. I'm excited when I wake up. I'm excited walking through Times Square during my morning commute. WHO AM I!??!?!?!?! That will fade...they might take away my New Yorker card if it doesn't.I feel myself. I feel at home. I don't question anything that comes out of my mouth. I don't pretend. I don't fake anything or try to be someone I'm not. I'm sarcastic, knowledgeable, I speak up for myself. My husband and I feel like we are back to ourselves together and apart. He doesn't have to walk on eggshells around a fragile me. We can be silly again.I am surrounding by inspiration. My friends are the pulse that beats beneath my skin. So full of ideas and passion. The city itself is the same way. I feed off of it in a way I didn't in Vermont. I keep thinking I missed something somewhere because I see it in so many there. They feel the way I do here. I wanted to be a part of that club but my club is bigger and full of skyscrapers instead of mountains.Home is different for everyone. Sometimes it's not where you were born. Sometimes it's where your from. Leslie Knope said that and well, she's a fucking North Star to us all so it's brilliant. Vermont will always be home to me in some ways. I love it there and it never failed to stun me into silence with its beauty in all seasons. But this city, New York Fucking City, is my home.I wrote this on the bus on the way home the other night:I suppose it's normal. No one looks out the window at the skyline. Lit up like a miniature Christmas display. All on their phones, sleeping, staring into space. How do I know I need to be here? I'm a sucker for that skyline. Always have been. My heart jumps at the site of it. It's strange in a way. I've seen it a million times. From the tallest buildings in its center, from New Jersey, from a helicopter ride my brother gave me as a gift. Yet I always feel my breath catch in my throat and my heart almost leaps from my chest like the way new lovers feel when they find each other. Maybe it's because I'm listening to Moana while passing by it on my bus commute home but also maybe, just maybe, it's because I choose skyscrapers over mountains. Maybe because it's my ultimate goal; my Everest. My home. Maybe it's because it's my happy place where I feel most myself and it took removing myself from the slice I cut to realize how much I need to be a part of the entire pie. Thank you to everyone who has followed me this far. Let's keep going for some big pond adventures, shall we?